Rock

Why John Deacon decided to retire from Queen and music

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Born in the musical landscape of Leicester, England, in 1951, John Deacon emerged as the youngest member of the iconic band Queen. His journey into the world of music began in 1965, marking the inception of a career that would leave an indelible mark on the rock and roll scene.

Deacon’s early musical endeavors saw him join The Opposition in 1965 at the young age of 14, setting the stage for what was to come. However, it was the turning point in early 1971 that would redefine his life when an invitation to join Queen altered the course of music history.

Teaming up with Brian May, Freddie Mercury, and Roger Taylor, John Deacon became an integral part of the legendary Queen lineup. The band etched its name in rock history, releasing groundbreaking albums, especially in the 70s and 80s, and solidifying their position as one of the best-selling bands globally, with an estimated 250 to 300 million records sold.

The dynamics of Queen underwent a seismic shift in 1991 with the untimely passing of Freddie Mercury. Despite this, the band released the posthumous album “Made In Heaven” in 1995 and the single “No-One but You (Only the Good Die Young)” in 1997. It was in the same year that John Deacon made a significant decision to retire, not just from Queen and music but also from the public eye.

Known as the quiet member of Queen, Deacon’s importance to the band extended beyond his role as a bass player. His marriage in 1975 to Veronica Tetzlaff, which endures to this day, showcased his commitment to a stable personal life. Onstage, he shied away from the limelight, preferring unity with his bandmates. Despite his unassuming presence, Deacon penned many of Queen’s hits and played a crucial role in the band’s success.

Freddie Mercury’s death in 1991 had a profound impact on John Deacon, leading him to reassess his musical journey. The loss, coupled with personal achievements and financial stability, prompted Deacon’s retirement. His estimated net worth of $180 million provided the freedom to step away from the music industry.

Deacon, despite his retirement, made sporadic appearances with Queen in the ’90s. These included the Freddie Mercury tribute concert at Wembley Stadium in 1992, a charity concert with Roger Taylor in 1993, and a performance with Queen and Elton John in Paris in 1997.

Although he retired from active participation, Deacon remained part of Queen’s business decisions. Brian May affirmed that Deacon gave his blessing for the Academy Award-winning movie “Bohemian Rhapsody.” However, the toll of Mercury’s loss was evident, with May mentioning in a 2023 interview that Deacon had always been sensitive to stress, and the loss of Mercury deeply affected him.

Deacon’s official departure from Queen in 1997 didn’t sever all ties. He continued to be a silent business partner, involved in major decisions. Despite efforts from May and Taylor, Deacon chose to distance himself, with Roger Taylor mentioning a last encounter in 2004.

Living a low-key life, Deacon is a father of six children and has been spotted by paparazzi in everyday activities. Despite his retreat from the public eye, Deacon remains approachable to fans, stopping for conversations and autographs when encountered. His post-retirement life reflects a balance between personal privacy and occasional connections with those who admire the legacy of Queen.

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