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Instruments: Sheer Heart Attack Tour [30.10.1974 - 01.05.1975]

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Information > Instruments on tour > Sheer Heart Attack
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This was the band's first headlining international tour and featured a far larger equipment. The famous 19th and 20th November 1974 concerts at the Rainbow Theatre have been professionally filmed, and both the video and some extraordinary photographs by Richard Paul-Jones (link) provide some nice insight into what they used at the time.

Additions were a lot of piano-based songs, plus a short excerpt from Bring Back That Leroy Brown on which Brian swiftly changed, with help from his roadie Richie Anderson, from guitar to ukelele-banjo, and then back to guitar.

Roger's Ludwig kit Roger's Ludwig kit

Drum kit
Ludwig 26" x 14" bass-drum.
Ludwig 14" x 7.5" snare drum.
Ludwig 16" x 16" and 20" x 20" floor toms.
Ludwig 12" x 12" rack tom.
Meazzi 14" x 14" rack tom.
Zildjian 15" hi-hats.
Paiste 15", 16" and 18" crash cymbals.
Zildjian 16" and 20" crash cymbals.
Zildjian 22" ride cymbal.
3 x Cowbells.
Ludwig stands.
Shaftesbury stands.
Ginger Baker sticks.

Bass-drum logo: black crest / white background.


Triangle [Killer Queen]

Roger's mics
AKG D19 for the toms

Brian's Red Special Brian's Gibson Les Paul

Electric six-string guitars
BHM bespoke [main]
Gibson Les Paul Deluxe orange sunburst [spare]
Fender Pre-CBS Stratocaster black [second spare]

Guitar rig
9 x Vox AC30 amplifiers
Cornish bespoke effect [trebe-booster]
Maestro tape-delay
fOXX foot pedal [phaser]
Vox foot pedal [wah-wah]

Ukelele-banjo [Leroy Brown]

* On the record, Brian played Bring Back That Leroy Brown with an Abbot Monarch, which was the brand George Formby used and which his father had since before Brian was born. Brian was hesitant on taking such a valuable instrument on the road so he took a cheap West German banjolele (made in Japan) instead.

Freddie's Steinway at Rainbow Freddie's Baldwin in Germany

Depending on the venue

Bass guitars
Fender Precision '67 Fender Precision '68

Electric bass guitars [used interchangeably]
Fender Precision 1965 (e.g. 10.12.1974).
Fender Precision 1968 (e.g. 08.12.1974).

Bass rig
2 x HiWatt amplifiers.
2 x 4" x 12" Sound City cabinets.

Public Address system
2000 W RSE PA
Bison Echorec
Akai cassette machine

What about the recording sessions?

The multi-track contents from Brighton Rock (which leaked to the public in 2008) show that the song has about thirteen different guitars (e.g. the outro is played on 6-7 at the same time). One of those guitars is definitely not the Red Special (it's not a matter of EQing or effects, it's clearly not the same guitar), and sounds exactly like a Stratocaster, which makes sense - Brian used his home-made guitar 95% of the time, but occasionally tried other things. For most of the song, including the solo, and for most of the album, Brian of course used the guitar he made with his father. Other documented instruments besides what they also used live were Ludwig Ringer 28" and 30" timpani for In the Lap of the Gods, Abbot Monarch ukelele-banjo for Leroy Brown, and different pianos depending on the recording venue: Yamaha C-7 at the Coach (Tenement Funster), Bösendorfer 225 at the Quadrangle (Flick of the Wrist and Lap ... Revisited), Bechstein III at Trident (Now I'm Here) and Bechstein D at Wessex (the rest of the songs).

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