|Born||19 August 1951|
John Richard Deacon (born 19 August 1951) is a retired English multi-instrumentalist, best known as the bass guitarist for the rock bandQueen. Of the four members of the band, he was the last to join and also the youngest, being only 19 years old when he was recruited by the other members of the band. Deacon wrote a number of Queen's hit singles, including "You're My Best Friend", "Spread Your Wings", "Back Chat", "I Want to Break Free" and the band's biggest selling single in the United States, "Another One Bites the Dust", as well as a number of album tracks. He also played rhythm and acoustic guitars on several albums as well as occasional keyboards, synthesiser and programming. He frequently provided backing vocals during live shows.
Following The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in 1992, Deacon's sole performance with the remaining members of Queen was a one-off rendition of "The Show Must Go On" in 1997 with Mercury's friend Elton John (who had originally sung the track with the band at Mercury's tribute). He contributed to the final Queen song, "No-One but You (Only the Good Die Young)" – released that year on the Queen Rockscompilation – after which he retired from the music industry. He chose not to participate with guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylorin the Queen + Paul Rodgers collaboration, but did give them his support. Deacon was also absent from Queen's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
Deacon grew up in Oadby, Leicestershire with father Arthur, mother Lilian and younger sister Julie. His father worked for the Norwich Unioninsurance company. But in 1962 when Deacon was 11, his father died of a heart attack. He was known to friends as 'Deaks' and attended Linden Junior School in Leicester, and Gartree High School and Beauchamp Grammar School in Oadby and achieved 8 GCE O level and 3 A level passes, all at grade A. It was in Leicester that he formed his first band, The Opposition, in 1965 at the age of fourteen. He played a rhythm guitar bought with money borrowed from one of the other band members. He became the bassist after the original bassist was fired for not being of the same quality as the rest of the band. As well as a dedicated musician Deacon also was the band's archivist, taking clippings from newspapers of even the advertisements featuring The Opposition. After being in the band for four years, Deacon played his final concert with the band (then called The Art) in August 1969. He left as he had been accepted to study at Chelsea College.
Although he left his bass and amplifier at home in Oadby, Leicestershire after less than a year in London where he went on to achieve a First Class Honours Degree in electronics at Chelsea College, now part of King's College London, he decided he wanted to join a band. By this time Queen had already been formed by Brian May, Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor, and Deacon even saw them in October 1970. In early 1971 he was introduced to Taylor and May by a friend at a disco who told him that they were in a band that had just lost its bassist. A couple of days later he auditioned in a lecture room at Imperial College London and became the last member of Queen to join the band. Since the band's last bassist drew attention away from Mercury, Deacon was selected for his musical talent, his quiet demeanour and his electrical skills. A persistent legend claims Deacon was the 1000th bassist auditioned.
His first writing credit did not come until Queen's third album, Sheer Heart Attack. The song "Stone Cold Crazy" was his first writing credit but the song was also credited to the other three members of the band. The first song Deacon wrote on his own was the song "Misfire" from the same album, a Caribbean-themed song that garnered little attention. He would achieve much greater success with his second song, "You're My Best Friend", which went on to be an international hit.
He was the 'quiet' member of the band, and the others said that he was in charge of most of the finances. His last public appearance with the band was at an AIDS charity event in 1997, and his last direct involvement with Queen was with the recording of "No-One But You (Only The Good Die Young)".
He lives in Putney in South West London with his wife Veronica Tetzlaff. Married since 18 January 1975, she was already 2 months pregnant with their first child when they got married. The two have six children: Robert (18 July 1975), Michael (3 February 1978), Laura (25 June 1979), Joshua (13 December 1983), Luke (5 December 1992) and Cameron (7 November 1993).
As a trained electronics engineer, he often used to build equipment for the band. His most famous creation is the "Deacy Amp", used by Deacon and Brian May.