The Guitar Player's Always the Last to Know

LONDON – Not too many rockers hold doctoral degrees in astronomy...but despite his book-learnin', Queen guitarist Brian May is a little slow in other departments. May claimed in a recent interview with Q magazine that he had no idea Queen frontman Freddie Mercury was gay.

Mercury, who died of AIDS-related causes in 1991, was screamingly flamboyant, but May insisted that as a guitarist, he was so focused on his music that he missed a lot of the obvious signs.

Things cleared up for May in the 1980s when he told Q that Mercury "started bringing men backstage who had that particular Adonis look."

The hapless guitar-picker also told Q that while Mercury was what we'd call, uh, fussy, May didn't pick up on the blatant cues. "He [Mercury] seemed to be what these days you would call metrosexual. He was into his hair, his clothes. He definitely led the way with regard to preening."

May was also apparently unaware of the double-meaning of the band's name, Queen.

No word on whether anyone's told May that fellow English performers Rob Halford, George Michael and Boy George are also gay.