Queen’s Brian May Recovering After Heart Attack

The guitarist has dealt with a number of ailments this year

Brian May
Brian May in 2017.
Raph_PH/Creative Commons
By Tobias Carroll / May 25, 2020 6:02 pm

When social distancing efforts took hold in Europe and the United States, there arose an unlike guitar teacher to the masses. That would be Queen guitarist Brian May, who took to social media to take requests and offer tips on his distinctive playing style and technique. It’s a reminder of the legendary guitarist’s penchant for empathy — it’s not for nothing that a 2011 profile of May in The Guardian featured him holding a rescued fox cub.

In a time abounding with concerns over health, May has now had a health scare of his own. At Rolling Stone, Ryan Reed reports that May had what the guitarist dubbed “a small heart attack” at the end of a long ordeal of medical issues.

First, May injured his gluteus maximus while gardening. When the pain persisted, May had an MRI, which revealed a compressed sciatic nerve — something he ascribed, in an Instagram post, to decades of having a guitar strapped to his body.

May described the sensation of the heart attack as “about 40 minutes of pain in the chest and tightness and that feeling in the arms and sweating.” (And, for those curious — May did indeed make a reference to Queen’s Sheer Heart Attack on Instagram.) As Reed writes, May quickly sought treatment:

After May’s doctor drove him to the hospital, the musician was diagnosed with three congested arteries. Presented with his treatment options, he declined having open-heart surgery and instead had three stents put in.

One imagines that any kind of medical procedure right now would have an added layer of tension. But based on May’s post, he seems to be in good humor — and, thankfully, good health.

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