Brian May's father stopped speaking to him ''for a long time'' when he embarked on a music career.

The Queen guitarist admits his parent was ''very upset'' when, after graduating with a BSc in Physics from London's Imperial College, he made the decision to move his life in a very different direction to the one he'd planned.

He said: My dear old dad was very upset. He didn't speak to me for a long time. I'd done two unforgivable things in his book.

''One was to give up my studies, which he had in a sense given up part of his life to enable me to have. And the other was live with a woman without being married to her, which was completely contrary to his moral code. He found it impossible to endorse my behaviour. It was a very difficult time.''

The 'We Will Rock You' hitmaker's decision was likely upsetting for his father because he had been so keen to press the importance of a good education.

He said: ''Times were hard [growing up]. It wasn't an illusion. But my dad had great pride in managing to provide for us, and he was very concerned that I would have access to all the good things in life, which he believed came from education.''

But in 1978, after Brian's father saw Queen perform a huge show at New York's Madison Square Garden, they made peace and the 69-year-old musician's dad admitted he had been envious of his son's decision.

Brian recalled: ''After they'd seen the show, my dad said, 'OK, I get it now.' The truth was he had actually been through a similar thought process.

''He was a great piano player but he had to get a proper job to ensure his family's future. So he said, 'You're doing what I would have loved to have done and that's probably why it's been so hard for me to accept it. That was a big breakthrough for us.

''Whether we admit it or not, we want the approval of our parents, and if we don't get it, it's a tough thing to carry around.'''

The musician also recalled how he was ''bullied'' at school because of his academic interests, but claims his childhood experiences taught him some useful life skills.

He told Mojo magazine: ''I was quite an insecure boy, quite sensitive, also quite keen to succeed academically, which at my school was very uncool. So I got bullied, but I usually managed to talk my way out of it. That taught me my skills of negotiation.''