These four concerts were done in the middle of the A Day at the Races recordings (in fact, between the concerts in Edinburgh and Cardiff the band returned to London for some studio sessions) but they had a unique assortment of instruments, so it's worth placing them on a separate section. By this time John had already stripped off the paint from his 1968 bass as well, so they were both natural. From then on, and with only some exceptions, the 1968 bass would be his main.

At the end of the concert in Cardiff, Roger destroyed his kit (which was brand new), but he had a new one by the time they played Hyde Park - he'd signed a dealership with Ludwig so they sent him an endless supply of items from Chicago. As part of that dealership, Roger stopped using Meazzi toms and Shaftesbury stands.

This was the first tour including an acoustic set.


Roger's Ludwig kit
Freddie's tambourine
Roger's tambourine
Drum kit
  • Ludwig 26" x 14" bass-drum.
  • Ludwig 14" x 7.5" snare drum.
  • Ludwig 16" x 16", 18" x 18" and 20" x 20" floor toms.
  • Ludwig 14" x 14", 13" x 13" and 12" x 12" rack toms.
  • Ludwig 10" x 10", 8" x 8" and 6" x 6" small toms.
  • Paiste 8" splash cymbal.
  • Paiste 18" crash cymbal.
  • Paiste 22" china cymbal.
  • Zildjian 15" hi-hats.
  • Zildjian 20" and 2 x 18" crash cymbals.
  • Zildjian 22" ride cymbal.
  • 3 x Cowbells.
  • Ludwig Speed-King pedal.
  • Ludwig 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.
  • Bespoke beaters.
  • Paiste stands.
  • Unknown
Triangle [Killer Queen]
  • Unknown.

String instruments

Brian's Red Special
Brian's acoustic guitar
John's Fender Precision
Brian's banjo
Electric bass guitars
  • Fender Precision 1965.
  • Fender Precision 1968.
Bass rig
  • 5 x Acoustic 371 amplifiers.
  • 3 x Acoustic cabinets.
  • 2 x Gauss 4" x 12" cabinets.
  • 1 x Cornish (?) bespoke control.
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]
Acoustic guitar ['39]
  • Martin D-18
Ukelele-banjo [Leroy Brown]
  • Sheltone


Freddie's Bechstein piano
  • Depending on the venue - e.g. Bechstein IV [Hyde Park]

What about the recording sessions?

The fact John didn't have the Music Man before February 1977 rules out any chance that he may have used it for the Races album. Freddie possibly played the white Bechstein piano (same he used at Hyde Park) during the countryside sessions in Oxfordshire, and then two Bösendorfer's half-concert grands in London (You and I and Somebody to Love intro). Brian used a 1967 Baldwin Double-Six guitar on Long Away [not Burns as usually mentioned, although the companies had sort of merged then so it's not entirely wrong either]. That album also featured Roger playing electric rhythm guitar (most likely a Stratocaster) on Drowse. Brian played Vox electric piano on Teo Torriatte.