Queen: Watch John Deacon's touching final message to fans before he quits the band - video

15 September 2020, 16:09

Video footage of John Deacon's last ever public appearance as a member of Queen was filmed in 1994 alongside Brian May and Roger Taylor.
Video footage of John Deacon's last ever public appearance as a member of Queen was filmed in 1994 alongside Brian May and Roger Taylor. Picture: Youtube/Queen Fan Club/Getty

By Giorgina Ramazzotti

Video footage of John Deacon's last ever public appearance as a member of Queen was filmed in 1994 alongside Brian May and Roger Taylor.

John Deacon's last known video footage as a member of Queen reveals a shy and humble man, despite years in the spotlight as part of the biggest band in the world.

Queen's bassist can be seen sitting beside both Brian May and Roger Taylor in the footage filmed in a recording studio in Chiswick, London.

Read more: What happened to Queen's John Deacon?

The video was shot for the Queen fan club in 1994 and is thought to be the last ever time John was seen with the rest of the band, before leaving Queen in 1997 and losing all contact with Brian and Roger.

Queen's bassist can be seen sitting beside Brian May in the footage filmed in a recording studio in Chiswick, London.
Queen's bassist can be seen sitting beside Brian May in the footage filmed in a recording studio in Chiswick, London. Picture: Youtube/Queen Fan Club
The trio were reportedly in the studio putting the finishing touches on the album Made In Heaven when the film was shot, with Brian May and Roger Taylor doing most of the talking as a shy John Deacon struggles to find the words to say to their fans.
The trio were reportedly in the studio putting the finishing touches on the album Made In Heaven when the film was shot, with Brian May and Roger Taylor doing most of the talking as a shy John Deacon struggles to find the words to say to their fans. Picture: Youtube/Queen Fan Club

The trio were reportedly in the studio putting the finishing touches on the album Made In Heaven when the film was shot, with Brian doing most of the talking as a shy John Deacon struggles to find the words to say to their fans.

Read more: Queen's Roger taylor explains why John Deacon quit the band

The video, which was shot just two and a half years after Freddie's death when the band were grieving and still struggling to come to terms with their loss, shows Brian May speak to fans for the first time in many months.

“Here we are in darkest Chiswick in 1994, trying to sort out the pieces of this supposed album which will contain the last things that Freddie did," Brian says, "So it feels quite strange, but we do still exist…”

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May adds: "This is what we’re doing," before turning to John Deacon and inviting him to say something.

The video was shot just two years after Freddie's death when the band were grieving and still struggling to come to terms with their loss, sees Brian May take charge and speak to fans for the first time in many months.
The video was shot just two years after Freddie's death when the band were grieving and still struggling to come to terms with their loss, sees Brian May take charge and speak to fans for the first time in many months. Picture: Youtube/Queen Fan Club
But friends, bandmates and colleagues all agree that after losing Freddie Mercury, the pressures of the music industry became overwhelming for the naturally reclusive John Deacon.
Friends, bandmates and colleagues all agree that after losing Freddie Mercury, the pressures of the music industry became overwhelming for the naturally reclusive John Deacon. Picture: Getty

"Hello, it’s John Deacon here," the famously shy bassist smiles at the camera.

"Greetings from here in London," he continues before finishing: "As usual I don’t know what to say so I’ll dry up now..."

See more: Queen: Freddie Mercury sings to 'soulmate' Mary Austin in touching footage from 1986 - video

Brian smiles at John's efforts and once again takes over, saying to their fans: "We’re thinking of you guys out there and that’s why we’re sending you this message… If this (album) ever comes out, please buy it."

Three years after the final footage was shot, John Deacon - who is estimated to be worth up to £130 million - retired entirely from music and the public eye to privately raise his six children in the South West London home he bought with his first Queen paycheck.

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Speaking in the documentary The Show Must Go On: The Queen + Adam Lambert Story, both Brian May and Roger Taylor spoke of the turbulent time when they lost John Deacon and the reasons the guitarist left the band.

John Deacon and Freddie Mercury were very close during their years in the band and John was devastated when he died in 1991. Pictured John and Freddie on stage in 1977.
John Deacon and Freddie Mercury were very close during their years in the band and John was devastated when he died in 1991. Pictured John and Freddie on stage in 1977. Picture: Getty

"John freaked out and decided he really couldn’t deal with being in the music business anymore, it was an odd period," Roger Taylor said, adding: "Really the band was over."

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John Deacon himself made a rare public statement in the aftermath of Freddie Mercury's passing, saying: "As far as we are concerned, this is it. There is no point carrying on. It is impossible to replace Freddie."

Speaking to the Independent, Roger had much stronger words for his ex-bandmate: "I haven't heard a squeak from John," said Roger.

See more: Roger Taylor: 8 interesting facts about the Queen drummer

"Not a single guttural grunt. We're not in touch but John's a sociopath, really, and he's given his blessing to whatever Brian and I might do with the brand – and we've done rather a lot."

Brian May elaborated in an interview with Rolling Stone in 2014, saying: "We don’t, really [speak to John]. He doesn’t want to. He wants to be private and in his own universe."

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"He’s completely retired from any kind of social contact," Roger added.

Speaking to the Independent a few years previously, Roger had much stronger words for his ex-bandmate: "I haven&squot;t heard a squeak from John," said Roger. Queen pictured in 1973
Speaking to the Independent, Roger had strong words for his ex-bandmate: "I haven't heard a squeak from John," said Roger. Queen pictured in 1973. Picture: Getty

John Deacon was especially close to Freddie Mercury who was a stabilising force for John, helping the quiet bass guitarist cope with the pressure of being in Queen.

But friends, bandmates and colleagues all agree that after losing Freddie Mercury, the pressures of the music industry became overwhelming for the naturally reclusive John Deacon.

See more: First video of Freddie Mercury: Unearthed footage of the shy Queen star as a student in 1964

All was not lost though, as the ex-Queen member is still very much involved with the financial side of the band.

Brian May confirmed to Rolling Stone: "We don’t undertake anything financial without talking to him."

Giving an insight into the private star's personality, he added: "He still keeps an eye on the finances. John Deacon is still John Deacon. "

See more: Remembering Freddie Mercury's incredible final performance with Queen - video

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