John Deacon facts: Queen bassist's age, songs, family and where he is now explained

6 June 2024, 12:26

John Deacon Of Queen
John Deacon Of Queen. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

He was a member of one of the world's biggest bands, but John Deacon decided to quit the limelight.

But why did Queen bassist John Deacon leave the group? Here's all the big facts about the quiet man of rock...

  1. How old is John Deacon?

    John Deacon was born on August 19, 1951.

    He celebrated his 74th birthday in 2023.

  2. How did John Deacon get his start in music?

    Photo of Queen
    Photo of Queen. Picture: Getty

    John Deacon got his start in music during his teenage years. He was born in Leicester, and started playing the guitar at a young age.

    In 1965, Deacon joined his first band, The Opposition, as a rhythm guitarist, but soon switched to bass guitar, which became his primary instrument.

    Deacon's major break came in 1971 when he auditioned for the band Queen. The band's members, Freddie Mercury, Brian May, and Roger Taylor, were impressed with his musical talent and quiet demeanour, leading to his selection as their bassist.

    His joining completed the classic Queen lineup, marking the beginning of his professional music career.

  3. Why did John Deacon leave Queen?

    Queen and Elton John
    Picture: PA

    John Deacon was upset by Freddie Mercury's death in 1991. He later said: "As far as we are concerned, this is it. There is no point carrying on. It is impossible to replace Freddie."

    After playing live with Queen three more times – at The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness in 1992, at a charity concert with Roger Taylor in Midhurst in 1993, and at the opening of the Bejart Ballet in Paris in 1997, performing 'The Show Must Go On' with Elton John – he decided to retire from music.

    He re-appeared only briefly by joining Queen in October 1997 for the recording of the final Queen song 'No-One but You (Only the Good Die Young)', included on the Queen Rocks album.

  4. What is John Deacon doing now?

    Deacon has stayed out of the public eye since retiring. He chose not to appear at Queen's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, or to join in the collaboration projects with Paul Rodgers or Adam Lambert.

    Brian May has said that Deacon is still involved on the business side of Queen, and that he also approves of the upcoming Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. In 2014, May and Roger Taylor admitted that they no longer have much contact with Deacon except about finances. Taylor said: "[Deacon]'s completely retired from any kind of social contact", and described him as "a little fragile."

    He lives in Putney in South West London with his wife Veronica Tetzlaff, whom he married in 1975, and is the father of six children.

  5. What Queen songs did John Deacon write?

    Queen - Another One Bites the Dust (Official Video)

    John Deacon wrote a number of Queen classics, including:

    - 'You're My Best Friend'
    - 'Another One Bites the Dust'
    - 'I Want to Break Free'
    - 'Friends Will Be Friends'