Brian May’s EBS Number
Despite my man-crush on Richard Feynman, I’m quite happy that he’s not alone in the center of the universe. There with him is Brian May, who is none other than the lead guitarist for the legendary rock band Queen. Yes, the man who brought the world the brilliant guitar solo in “We Will Rock You”, also happens to be a PhD in astrophysics. His fame is such that the Bacon and Sabbath numbers are absolutely trivial, and Ross Churchley has tracked down his Erdos number.
Sabbath Number: Come on, do you doubt that a member of Queen doesn’t have a Sabbath Number? As befitting his Rock-God status, Brian May has a Sabbath number of Uno – he played on Black Sabbath’s “Headless Cross” album, and also has collaborated with drummer Cozy Powell in his own Brian May Band. Cozy, as you should know, was once a Black Sabbath drummer.
Bacon Number: Dr. May shows up as “Brian May (II)” on the Oracle of Bacon, and as a member of Queen, his guitar playing has appeared in countless movies (such as Highlander). Not good enough, you say? Needs to actually be an actor in a movie, you say? Alright, then how about his voice work as “Massed peasant chorus & Chamberlain” in the 1996 movie “The Adventures of Pinocchio”? His tour de force as a massed peasant chorus is now the de facto standard by which all massed-chorus voice-over work is judged, and also gives him a Bacon number of three (via Kevin Dorsey and Laura Ceron).
Erdos Number: Ah, yes… my original research into Dr. May’s Erdos number (consisting of googling his coauthors for a couple hours while watching SportsCenter) turned up nothing. Lucky for me, and for the world of science, Ross has tracked down a path of coauthors from Dr. May’s astrophysics publications back to Erdos, yielding an Erdos number of seven. This gives him a combined Erdos-Bacon-Sabbath number of eleven! A huge thanks to Ross, who can also be found on twitter at @rchurchley. Give him a follow, won’t you?