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Instruments: A Night At The Opera Tour [14.11.1975 - 22.04.1976]

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This tour has been widely covered both by photographs and some videos, as well as the band's first biography which came out in 1976 and listed Roger's drum set in detail. In July/August 1975, John stripped off his 1965 bass and left it natural, but he didn't do the same with the other yet: a Fan Club magazine from late 90's reveals a photo from the band performing in Australia (and it's definitely this tour as confirmed by the logo of Roger's bass-drum) and John's using the 1968 bass, which at that point is still sunburst.

Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath recommended Brian to commision John Birch to make a replica of the Red Special, which he did. Brian used it as his spare guitar from late 1975 to August 1982, when he smashed it one night he was particularly upset.


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: white crest / black background.

Gong [hit once at the end of Bohemian Rhapsody and Ogre Battle]
Paiste 60" symphonic (made in West Germany).
Bespoke beaters.
Paiste stands.


Triangle [Killer Queen]

Roger's mics
AKG D19 for the toms

Roger's Ludwig kit
Roger's Ludwig kit Freddie's New Era tambourine

Guitars / banjo
Brian's Red Special Brian's banjo

Electric six-string guitars
BHM bespoke [main]
Birch bespoke [spare]
Gibson Les Paul Deluxe [second spare]

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

Ukelele-banjo [Leroy Brown]

Bass guitars
Fender Precision '67 Fender Precision '68

Electric bass guitars
Fender Precision 1965 [main - most of the tour].
Fender Precision 1968 [Melbourne].

Bass rig
5 x Acoustic 371 amplifiers.
3 x Acoustic cabinets.
2 x Gauss 4" x 12" cabinets.
1 x Cornish (?) bespoke control.

Bechstein piano Steinway piano

Depending on the venue
e.g. Steinway baby-grand [Dundee]
e.g. Bechstein IV [24.12.1975]

What about the recording sessions?

Freddie used the white Bechstein IV piano for the rehearsals and possibly for most of the recordings as well (notable exception: Seaside Rendezvous, where it's a Yamaha C-7). Brian possibly used the Birch guitar for at least some of the overdubs on The Prophet's Song, on which he also played a Tokai Hummingbird six-string acoustic (also Love of My Life). John Deacon played Wurlitzer EP-200 electric piano on You're My Best Friend and he might have used a celeste (unknown brand) for the bell-like overdubs. The twelve-string acoustic Brian played on '39 is most likely an Ovation Pacemaker 1615. There are some photos of him rehearsing with a Baldwin Bison, but it's unknown if he also used it for the record.

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