The Day John Deacon Joined Queen
Queen went through a number of bass players in their earliest days, and none proved satisfactory. That all changed on March 1, 1971, when 19-year old John Deacon joined. Queen finally had the fourth and final piece in the puzzle.
As a child, Deacon had a keen interest in electronics, and spent a lot of time fiddling with radios and reel-to-reel tape machines. That could have been his calling, were it not for a certain musical explosion that hit him hard: As with countless teenagers across the globe, the Beatles cemented Deacon's interest in playing rock 'n' roll.
Deacon quickly learned his way around a guitar, and by age 14 had formed his first band, the Opposition. They made some noise around his home turf of Leicester, England. When the Opposition's bass player quit in 1966, however, Deacon decided to make the move to the rhythm section. The band carried on for a couple more years in various lineups and names with Deacon manning the bass.
Eventually, however, he left to study electronics at Chelsea College, University of London. His first interest had won out for a moment, but that would soon change once again.
Deacon caught a performance by a new band calling themselves Queen in October 1970, though his initial reaction was actually less than enthused: "They were all dressed in black, and the lights were very dim too, so all I could see were four shadowy figures," Deacon later said in a band bio. "They didn't make a lasting impression on me at the time.”
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A few months later, he ran into Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor when they were on the hunt for yet another bassist. They invited Deacon to an audition.
He endeared himself to the other members with his musical style, but also his reserved stance and personality. Queen at long last had its bassist.
Deacon would go on to make many notable contributions to the band's list of hits. "You're My Best Friend," "Another One Bites the Dust" and "I Want to Break Free" were just some of the classic tracks he penned before retiring in the wake of frontman Freddie Mercury's tragic death in 1991.
He's since become something of a recluse, opting out of almost all of Queen's post-Mercury activities. His final song with the band was the 1997's "No-One But You (Only the Good Die Young)," a new track recorded for the Queen Rocks compilation.
Decades later, Deacon reportedly turned down an invitation to be involved in the hugely successful Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, though he did approve of the film's script.
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