The BMG Frank Special is here!
Marking the launch of our brand new BMG Art Series range, this exclusive, limited edition guitar celebrates Queen's 1977 masterpiece, "News Of The World" with a stunning original image of Frank, the child-like robot with murderous tendencies from the classic album's cover, his piercing, blood-red eyes staring ominously from an all-black, Special style instrument, with matching black hardware.
NOTW's famed artwork, painted by American artist Frank Kelly Freas, was a reimagining of his cover for the October 1953 issue of pulp sci-fi magazine Astounding Science Fiction, a favourite of (Queen dummer) Roger Taylor's. Used to illustrate the short story “The Gulf Between" by Tom Godwin, the original work depicted a giant robot, a man’s lifeless body help limply in one hand, its finger dripping with blood and eyes pleading "Please... fix it, Daddy?”.
At the band’s request, Freas agreed to alter the design, replacing the fatally wounded figure with the apparently dead likenesses of all four band members; Brian May and Freddie Mercury lying in the automaton’s monstrous metal hand, with John Deacon and Roger Taylor falling to earth. The visionary illustrator was also commissioned to create a new work for the album’s inner gatefold with the cooly emotionless robot extending its hand through the shattered roof of a vast auditorium to grasp at a panicked, fleeing crowd.
A classical music fan, Freas admitted to not knowing of Queen in advance, and avoided their music until after the cover was completed "because I thought I might just hate them, and it would ruin my ideas”. Thankfully, upon listening to the album after submitting his contribution to what would eventually become part of rock history, the artist approved of what he heard.
Despite receiving mixed reviews upon its release, "News Of The World" was certified double platinum in the UK and 4 x platinum in the United States, going on to become the band’s best-selling long player to date, with over 10 million copies sold worldwide. Christened in honour of his creator, Frank has assumed iconic status in his own right and was finally brought spectacularly to life for Queen + Adam Lambert's 2017 + 2018 concert performances, both as an animated visual and an animatronic character.
The striking design of the Frank Special - taken from a rendering of the 3D model created by Mark Hough for the Q+AL stage show and originally used for the 2017 Record Store Day 12" vinyl re-release of "We Are The Champions/We Will Rock You" - was created by the Brian May Guitars art department exclusively for this project.
This is the same instrument played by Dr. Brian May himself during Queen's "Crown Jewels" residency at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in September 2018 for his "Killer Queen" solo - with the "real" Frank looking on with what we sincerely hope is approval!
The BMG Special
The result of a unique collaboration between Brian May, his long-standing guitar tech Pete Malandrone and House Music, the best-selling BMG SPECIAL combines the distinctive aesthetics and sound of the legendary Red Special with a wealth of modern appointments and superb quality, production-line craftsmanship.
All the foundations of the trademark BM sound are present and correct, with construction, pickups and electronics faithfully reproducing the original's unique character and tonal versatility. But this is so much more than just a replica... with a price-tag and a range of new colours driven by Brian's concept of a guitar "for the people", The Special is designed to provide modern players of all musical persuasions with an affordable pro-grade instrument that is the perfect "go-to" guitar for any performance environment.
Acoustic Chambered Mahogany Body
True to the look and spirit of the "Old Lady", the instantly recognisable pinstripe-bound, double cutaway mahogany body features an acoustic chamber modelled on Brian's original design that enhances the Special's natural resonance and decreases weight.
24" Scale Mahogany Neck
Engineered with a decidely contemporary feel, and considerably less deeply contoured than the somewhat gargantuan proportions of the "Old Lady", the glued-in Mahogany neck sports a generous 45mm nut width, comfortably spacious "D" profile and wonderfully smooth 24 fret ebony fingerboard.
Tri-Sonic Style Pickups
Modern replicas of the classic '60's Burns design units that are so fundamental to the Red Special's powerful sonic character, the three series-wired, single-coil pickups feature the same retro-styling, winding and magnet alignment as the originals.
Original BM Switching System
As per the original BM design, The Special is equipped with 6 white-capped slider switches controlling individual pickup on/off and phase reversal and providing a vast range of tonal variations.
Wilkinson Knife-Edge Tremolo
Trevor Wilkinson's "Wave" tremolo-bridge provides a strikingly modern look to The Special as well as delivering smooth, comfortable performance and exceptional stability and sustain.
Grover Locking Tuners
Featuring Grover's innovative Rotomatic® internal "Locking Cam", these superb machine heads automatically lock your strings as you tune, allowing for super-fast string changes and ensuring rock-solid tuning stability, even with heavy tremolo use.