John Deacon

John Richard Deacon ( born August 19, 1951 in Oadby, Leicestershire, United Kingdom) is a British musician. He is best known as the bassist of British rock band Queen, for which he composed many pieces.

  • 2.1 instruments
  • 2.2 Live
  • 2.3 Songwriting
  • 2.4 Other activities


Youth and studies

John Deacon grew up in Oadby, a suburb of Leicester in the British county of Leicestershire. His father, Arthur Henry Deacon worked at Norwich Union Insurance. He often took him fishing, and train spotting with. With seven years John was given a red Tommy Steele special plastic guitar. Above all, The Beatles inspired him. As Deacon was eleven years old, his father died unexpectedly, causing the mother, Lilian Molly Deacon, had to make alone for a livelihood.

At fifteen John formed his first band, The Opposition, where he played rhythm guitar. As the bassist was fired for lack of qualities, Deacon moved to electric bass. On the side he served as archivist, who collected all the newspaper articles about the band. After four years, Deacon played in August 1969 his last concert with the band, which had been renamed The Art. He had left the band because he was at Chelsea College of Science and Technology, a now-defunct part of the University of London, recorded and studied electronics there.

During his studies he was not musically active; only around the exam period, he founded the band Deacon, which in addition to bassist John Deacon from Peter Stoddart on guitar, Don Cartner on drums and Albert ( also guitar) existed. The band existed from October 1970 to early 1971. In October 1970, Deacon saw a performance by Queen.

When Queen

After graduating, Deacon had taken a job as a part-time teacher at a primary school, which he did not give up, even during the first time with Queen. In early 1971, he was with Peter Stoddart and his girlfriend Christine Farnell visit to a disco of Maria Assumpta Teacher training colleges, as it Farnell three men presented: Roger Taylor, Brian May and John Harris, the former Queen roadie.

The band was at that time looking for a bassist. After he had played in February 1971 in a lecture hall of the Imperial College, he got the job and became the fourth member of Queen. So the cast for Queen was complete, which should remain unchanged until the death of Freddie Mercury in 1991. With his then 19 years Deacon was the youngest of the four band members.

Deacon was considered the Queen inconspicuous member. That's why he was in the booklet to Queens debut album Queen different from the others as " Deacon John " to " let him sound more interesting ." The following album, Queen II, he was, however, normal as " John Deacon " section.

Only in the third album Sheer Heart Attack was a John Deacon composition, " Misfire " published, which was musically simpler than the compositions of his bandmates. However, Deacon should compose some of the greatest hits of Queen, including You're My Best Friend, I Want to Break Free and Another One Bites the Dust, the latter represented the Queen peak in the U.S. and We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions represents the third Queen's greatest hit.

In 1986, he formed the band The Immortals, which published one-off single No Turning Back.

After Mercury's death, John Deacon only appeared in three appearances along with the other remaining members of the band:

  • On 20 April 1992 during the held in honor of Mercury and for the fight against AIDS Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert
  • On 18 September 1993, along with Roger Taylor at a festival in Cowdray Park, which also Genesis, Eric Clapton, Paul Young and Pink Floyd appeared
  • On 17 January 1997 with Taylor, May and Elton John as the lead singer with the song The Show Must Go On at the opening gala for the ballet Le n'a rien perdu de son Presbytery noise, ni le jardin de son éclat of Maurice Béjart. The topic of this piece refers to AIDS and the early death of Freddie Mercury and Jorge Donn, the first dancers of Compagnie. A recording of the performance was released on Queens Greatest Hits III album.

After Queen

Then he withdrew completely from the music business, but was still involved in the early stage of preparation of the musical We Will Rock You. 2001 reported the British tabloid newspaper The Sun that he was allegedly not impressed by Robbie Williams' interpretation of the Queen hit We Are the Champions entirely; Williams had re-recorded the piece in collaboration with Brian May and Roger Taylor for the film A Knight's Tale. Although John Deacon did not participate in the ongoing under the name Queen Paul Rodgers since 2005 tours, he tolerated further that Taylor and May are active under the name "Queen".

He lives in south west London with his wife Veronica Agnes Mary Tetzlaff, whom he married in Kensington in 1976 and together with which he has five sons and one daughter: Robert ( b. 1975 ), Michael (born 1978 ), Laura ( b. 1979 ), Joshua ( b. 1983 ), Luke (* 1992) and Cameron ( * 1993).

According to the Sunday Times in 2004 Deacons assets is said to have amounted to about 50 million British pounds.

Importance for Queen


John Deacon is a significant bassist of the complex songs of the band gave a reliable, rhythmic backbone along with drummer Roger Taylor. Among his most notable pieces as bassist include for example the following:

  • The March of the Black Queen
  • Brighton Rock
  • Liar
  • You're My Best Friend
  • The Millionaire Waltz
  • Crazy Little Thing Called Love
  • Sail Away Sweet Sister
  • Another One Bites the Dust
  • Under Pressure
  • Radio Ga Ga
  • I'm Going Slightly Mad
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Backchat
  • Dragon Attack

John Deacon played in his career, mainly the Fender Precision Bass, both in the studio and during live performances. Another official appointed by him was the Bass Music Man Stingray.

Sometimes Deacon was also with other instruments to hear, for example, the acoustic guitar in the song Who Needs You from the album News of the World. This guitar, he also played for the song Spread Your Wings from the same album. According to statements of his bandmates Deacon is also an excellent rhythm guitarist. In this role he is in Staying Power (live) or Backschat to hear.

In '39 he played (as well as in Bring Back That Leroy Brown) double bass. Actually, Brian May had asked him just for fun, to learn the instrument. But a few days later he found Deacon in the studio so that it could play at that same time.

His contributions to the keyboard are limited mostly to chords in the background. In You're My Best Friend, he used an electric piano. It was the first song he had written on a keyboard.

Deacon is the only band member who has never sung on a Queen album. He himself said in interviews that he was not able to keep up with the remaining three strong vocalists of the group. Some music videos he sometimes moved her lips to match the song. But in live concerts, he contributed a couple of songs backing vocals, his microphone was there mostly little quieter set than that of the other band members.

From 1980 he also played synthesizer in numerous pieces. In the video for One Vison of 1985 one sees Deacon on drums sit.


On stage, he held the calm part without but to look stiff. He added inconspicuously into the choreography of the stage show, but abandoned it after making every restraint on occasional antics.


John Deacon, the youngest member of the band wrote, especially when compared to Freddie Mercury and Brian May, relatively few songs for Queen. But among them is one of the biggest hits of the band: Another One Bites the Dust from the 1980 album The Game made ​​it to the top of the U.S. charts. The bass line has similarities to the bass line of the 1979 hit Good Times by Chic. The songs that Deacon wrote alone or with members of the band are:

My Life Has Been Saved appeared in 1989 as a B- side of the single Scandal; a newly revised version is included on the published 1995 album Made in Heaven. The composers specification is ( as with all songs of 1989) "Queen " de facto comes the piece, according to information provided by the producer of John Deacon.

Other titles that were published under the authors' names "Queen", see the article Queen - The authors of the Queen songs.

Other activities

Due to mismanagement, the band initially had little merit. After the manager of Elton John had a year long renovation of the economic circumstances of Queen, the band worked on their own. Deacon smoothened business-related issues.

He could often tinker with the equipment of the band and thus affect their performance positively through his electronics degree. The most famous result of this is a special amplifier, called the Deacy amp, both the Deacon (with the guitar recordings for Misfire ) and occasionally Brian May used for his Red Special.

Other projects

One of the few major solo projects by John Deacon was published in May 1986 under the band name The Immortals Single No Turning Back, the Biggles The Effect ( Original Title: Biggles ) from the soundtrack of the movie comes from. Written and produced was the song by Deacon together with Robert Ahwai. The group The Immortals with Ahwai, Deacon and Lenny Zakatek was established specifically for this project in March 1986. In June of the same year the album was released with the soundtrack. The film directed by John Hough with Neil Dickson, Alex Hyde-White and Peter Cushing was in Germany on June 19, 1986 premiere.

The following projects of other musicians John Deacon was involved: