John Deacon, born August 19, 1951, is best known for his incredible work for the iconic band Queen. Before joining the band that would become a household name, Deacon got his start in his career in music playing in a high school band and then a college band. Shortly after finishing his degree in electronics, he decided to join Queen as the band had just lost its bassist. In addition to creating music with Queen, he also wrote for and played with many other iconic rock ‘n’ roll musicians across various rock sub-genres. Help us celebrate this iconic guitarist on his birthday today!
John Richard Deacon
August 19, 1951
John Deacon is music royalty in the world of rock ‘n’ roll. John Richard Deacon was born on August 19, 1951, in Leicester, England. His father, Arthur Henry, worked at the Norwich Union insurance company and his mother, Lillian Molly, was a housewife. He studied at Beauchamp Grammar School in Oadby and achieved good grades. He formed a school band called The Opposition in 1965 but left four years later to pursue his studies in electronics at Chelsea College in London. He originally played rhythm guitar but switched to the bass guitar for which he would become famous.
In 1971, he met Roger Taylor and Brian May and joined the band a few days later as their youngest member. The band released their first album in 1973 and their second and third albums in 1974. Deacon was the lead writer for one of Queen’s most famous songs, ‘Another One Bites the Dust,’ which became instantly popular upon its release in 1980. During the 1980s, he played with several other bands, most notably the supergroup Man Friday & Jive Junior, which featured Scott Gorham (Thin Lizzy), Simon Kirke (Bad Company), and Martin Chambers (The Pretenders). He also worked with Freddie Mercury on Mercury’s solo music and fellow English rock star Elton John.
After Mercury died in 1991, Deacon wrote and played less music and he retired in 1997 after playing several more concerts with Queen with Elton John doing vocals. He briefly rejoined the band later that year to record the band’s final song. Since his retirement, Deacon has stayed out of the public eye, declining the invitation to Queen’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2013, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the band’s founding, a new species of damselfly was named after Deacon. May reported that Deacon was happy with Joseph Mazzello’s portrayal of him in the biopic of the band, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (2018) starring Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury.
The bassist forms a band called The Opposition during his time in high school.
A few days after meeting with Taylor, Queen’s drummer, and May, Queen’s lead guitarist, he decides to join the band.
The band releases their eponymous album with Deacon being credited under the pseudonym Deacon John.
Deacon is the primary writer for the hit single ‘Another One Bites the Dust.’
Deacon announces that he is retiring from playing music professionally six years after the death of the band’s lead singer.
In honor of the 40th anniversary of the band’s founding, a newly discovered species of the damselfly is named after Deacon.
A film based on the band, “Bohemian Rhapsody” is released, and Deacon reports he is happy with Joseph Mazzello’s portrayal of him.
Why We Love John Deacon
Despite Mercury’s death, Deacon committed to playing several charity shows until his retirement. The most notable of these charity shows is the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS awareness (Mercury died of AIDS-related complications).
He was a good friend to Mercury
May and Taylor reported that Deacon and Mercury were incredibly close. Deacon was distraught by Mercury’s death which was the reason he left the band.
Deacon loves his fans
The bassist still supports his fans and wishes them the best. In a 1994 video message dedicated to his fans, Deacon says he hopes his fans will “have a good time” with Queen’s final album.
5 Surprising Facts
He particularly enjoys soul music
His love for the genre heavily influenced his writing style for the song ‘Another One Bites the Dust.’
His band member bought his first guitar
Deacon bought his first guitar with money he borrowed from The Opposition’s founder, Richard Young.
Deacon wasn’t impressed by Queen at first
He saw the band perform in 1970 and wasn’t inspired by their performance.
He was inspired by Deep Purple
Deacon was a big fan of the rock band and saw them perform at the Royal Albert Hall.
He’s not a fan of Queen covers
Deacon has said he doesn’t like the Robbie Williams cover of ‘We Are the Champions’ for the comedy film “A Knight’s Tale.”
John Deacon FAQs
Is John Deacon still friends with Queen?
Despite no longer performing with the band’s surviving members, May has said Deacon is involved with the financial side of the band.
Who is John Deacon’s wife?
Deacon married Veronica Tetzlaff, who became a nanny after studying teaching.
Does John Deacon have children?
Deacon has six children with his wife, Veronica.
John Deacon’s birthday dates