Most intelligent world-class rock stars

… or rock stars parents wouldn’t mind to be role models for their kids. In fact, after reading this, they might even encourage their kids to pick up that vocopro and belt their hearts out to an Iron Maiden screamer.

Bruce Dickinson (born 1958) is best known as the lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Iron Maiden. Joining the band in 1981 to replace Paul Di’Anno, he gained worldwide fame, becoming one of the most acclaimed heavy metal vocalists in history. He is also an airline pilot, fencer, broadcaster, author, screenwriter, actor and marketing director. His interests also include railway technology.

As a fencer, he has competed internationally, and have ranked as high as seventh in Great Britain. He also founded a fencing equipment company under the brand name Duellist.

As an airline pilot, he holds an airline transport pilot’s licence. He regularly flew Boeing 757s in his role as captain for the UK airline Astraeus.

Due to the wide variety of his pursuits, the Winter 2009 edition of Intelligent Life has named him as a living example of a polymath.

Brian May (born 1947) is best known as the lead guitarist and a songwriter of the rock band Queen. The classic “We Will Rock You” was composed by him. He was ranked number 39 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.

Top guitarist Steve Vai has been quoted as saying:

Brian May is a class act from head to toe, and it shows in his playing. I can listen to any player and pantomime their sound, but I can’t do Brian May. He’s just walking on higher ground.

He studied physics and maths at Imperial College London, graduating with an upper second class BSc (Hons) degree. He then proceeded to study for a PhD degree (on reflected light from interplanetary dust and the velocity of dust in the plane of the Solar System) at the same place, and was part of the way through, but then abandoned his doctorate when Queen became successful. In October 2007, more than 30 years after he started his research, he finally completed his PhD thesis in astrophysics entitled A Survey of Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud, and officially graduated on 14th May 2008.

On 17th November 2007, he was appointed Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University, taking over from Cherie Blair.

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