Matt Rimmer Queen information sponge (1975 - present day) answers .....
"Does Brian May still play his original Red Special in concerts or is it now a museum piece and he plays a replica of the original he made with his dad at the beginning of his career?"
Yes, he still prefers to play his original guitar.
He uses replicas to cover string breakages or for the songs which are in drop-D tuning but his guitar tech says Brian always wants his own guitar back as quickly as possible.
The replicas are apparently very good but still not quite exactly the same. It is no different with "proper" branded guitars such as Fenders and Gibsons: there are good ones and less good ones.
Incredibly he has still not had to replace the main frets on it even after all this time!
Brian May, his guitar, and what he did with it are every bit as impressive as Freddie Mercury, his voice, and what he did with it. Both incredibly unique.
Many people have made their own guitar - and it's normally obvious when they have. Many more people have taken apart existing guitars and made a Frankenstein creation out of them - that's not building a guitar though, that's accessorising.
I'm not aware of anybody else who made their own "proper"-looking guitar and achieved such mainstream success with it.
I would assume Brian is very proud of that guitar and the connection to his father which it represents.
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