Having been royally entertained by the epic Queen biopic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ all my mother could do was apologise to me. Apologise that I wasn’t alive to experience their outrageous live concerts during the high times of the 1980s.
Exuberant on stage, the private lives of the bandmates were just as colourful, although they were masters at masking markedly more modest ambitions. Brian May authored academic papers whilst studying for a PHD at Imperial College London before postponing his work in 1974 when Queen became an international success. He would eventually complete his thesis 33 years later. Freddie Mercury; Queen’s eccentric frontman; was a shy recluse until the very end of his life. As for John Deacon…
Well actually, what did happen to John Deacon?
John Deacon; the introverted shy man of rock; became the fourth bandmate in 1971. He was deliberately picked for his understated qualities. The rest of the band thought Deacon would blend in amongst three big characters. Always steering clear of arguments during rehearsal sessions. Nevertheless, Deacon brought a quiet flair and penned some of the bands biggest hits including ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ [credited as their best selling single], ‘My Best Friend’ and ‘I want to break free’.
Perhaps more so than anyone else, Deacon was deeply affected by Freddie Mercury’s death in 1991, plainly saying that “As far as we are concerned, this is it. There is no point in carrying on. It is impossible to replace Freddie”. Mercury brought Deacon out his shell in a way that no was else was able to.
He would only perform on three more occasions before retiring from the music industry – and the public eye – for good. These days, Deacon rarely interacts with the other surviving members of the band, Brian May and Roger Taylor. According to May, Deacon is still involved with the financial side of the Queen brand and gave his blessing to the recently released film, in which he is portrayed by Joseph Mazzello.
Deacon has amassed an estimated fortune of £65 million and lives a quiet life with his wife of 44 years Veronica Tetzlaff.