Clive Castledine: „I was amazed with his academic background that he stuck with music. He was extremely intelligent and worked very hard at school. I think he took to learning the guitar in possibly the same way he looked at education. He was keen and did it properly“ (Queen – The Early Years, p. 5)
Following information is retracted from the “Queen File”, “Music Life”, “Mirabelle” etc
Date of birth: August 19, 1951
Full name: John Richard Deacon
Place of birth: Leicester, Oadby, England
Weight: 9st 10lbs
Colour of hair: dark brown
Colour of eyes: green/ grey
Education: Beauchamp Grammar School, Chelsea College, London, First Class honours degree in electronics
Influences: Yes, the World, and 60 cycles!! (from “Mirabelle” Magazine), Chris Squire, Lysle De Harper, Philip Chen (Music Life – Japanese magazine)
Favourite colour: black
Favourite album: QUEEN II (!)
Favourite group: The Police, Gonzales, Tower Of Power (various sources)
Favourite music: soul, funk
Favourite books: anything on space fiction, „Papillon“, „Odessa File“ (various sources)
Favourite writer: No-one in particular
Favourite singer / instrumentalist: Mercury / May (J)
Favourite musician: Stevie Wonder, Lennon, McCartney
Favourite films: „Clockwork Orange“, „Prime of Miss Jean Brodie“, „One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest“
Favourite actor: Julian Orchard (Music Life Magazine)
Favourite food: cheese on toast
Favourite drink: milk
Other occupations: Electronics and cars
Married: Veronica Tetzlaff (since 1975)
Children: Robert (18 July 1975), Michael (3 February 1978), Laura (25 June 1979), Joshua (13 December 1983), Luke (5 December 1992) and Cameron (7 November 1993)
Important QUEEN songs: Another One Bites The Dust, I Want To Break Free, You’re My Best Friend, One Year Of Love
JOHN’s ROYAL FAMILY
For some reason, the bass player is often the quietest member of a group, and that’s certainly true of John Deacon. He’s the dark horse of Queen, and by far the most difficult to get to know.
There’s one story about John which the others in the group love to tell people, and which tells us a lot about him. While the group were hard at work in the studio, recording their second album, QUEEN II, John suddenly announced that he had to leave for a couple of hours, and slipped out.
The rest of the group carried on working, a bit annoyed at John’s sudden departure, and also bursting with curiosity to find out what on earth he was up to! They found out later in the afternoon, when John returned and admitted he’s been sitting his exams!
And a few months later, when QUEEN II was released, John found out that nor only had he helped the group to make a very successful album, he’d also passed his finals, and now held an honours degree in electrical engineering!
That sums up to John’s character. There’s a lot more going in on inside his head than you might at first imagine. To some people, he seems abrupt and sarcastic, but once you get to know him better, you realise that this is mostly due to shyness.
„I suppose I am the quietest member of the group,“ John told me. „I’m the most conservative one, anyway.“
And that also shows through in the kind of clothes John wears offstage.
The rest of the group are pretty distinctive. You’d turn round if you passed them in the street, anyway!
But John, you’d probably even notice! He usually slouches around in an ancient blue zip-up cardigan, and only gives his hair the occasional despairing glance in the dressing-room before going onstage.
John is also the only member of the band who’s married, and he’s never happier than when he’s pottering around the house with his wife Veronica, and baby son, Robert. Veronica trained to be a teacher, and she and John met while they were at their respective colleges.
Robert is now nine months old, and, according to John, is a wonderfully good baby. And John himself is a very devoted Dad – as everyone who’s seen the two together knows!
„He’s already been to one or two of our concerts,“ said John, „and he seems to love the life backstage. So he’s not like me in that respect!“
Home for John, Veronica and Robert is a pleasant house in West London. „Originally I just had a flat in the house,“ said John, „but now we’ve taken over the whole house, and I’ve done some alterations to it myself.“
Being an engineer, John loves to tinker about the house. He’s always building himself little gadgets, or rebuilding existing ones! And it’s a joke within the group that he can’t bear to sit in front of the television set without getting up every few minutes to change the channel, adjust the colour or play with the fine tuning.
„As long as John has lots and lots of knobs to twiddle, and buttons to play with, he’s happy!“ Brian May once told me with a laugh.
Like Roger Taylor, John loves cars – both fiddling with them and driving them. Last year, they both entered for the Brands Hatch All Stars Race, and to their delight, John was first and Roger second!
„My own car isn’t anything like that, though,“ John told me. „ It’s an old Rover, Which I’ve ad for ages now. It still goes pretty well though – I hotted up the engine myself!“
John also has a keen eye for details – although, unlike Freddie and Brian, his interests aren’t artistic. He looks after the group’s finances, and when they’re on tour, he fusses endlessly over the sound system. He also built and devised their monitor system, which is said to be one of the most sophisticated in Europe.
Nowadays, of course, the group have very experienced roadies to look after their equipment, but in the days before they’d made it big, you’d often find John down on his knees wielding a screwdriver if anything went wrong!
But perhaps the most surprising aspect of John’s personality is his sense of humour. At first, he seems a rather serious, solemn person, but half-way through a conversation, he’ll suddenly burst out laughing at some odd, private joke.
„I suppose my sense of humour is a bit strange,“ he admitted. „I laugh at things that the others don’t find at all funny. All sorts of things make me laugh – I love practical jokes for instance, and I like following people round and catching them unawares with a camera!“
But most of all, John’s idea of fun is playing with his baby son – and that sums up his attitude to life. He enjoys being on the road, visiting new towns and playing to new audiences every night. But all the time, he can’t wait to get back home – back to the two people he loves most in the whole world.
à John has a 5 years younger sister, Julie
à John’s father died in 1962
à John’s first group, The Opposition, covered amongst others: The Yardbirds, The Animals, Tamla Motown classics, The Zombies, Spencer Davis Group. They were influenced as well by the Who and Deep Purple (John saw Deep Purple at the Royal Albert Hall and was very impressed)
à a nice Japanese fan page about John Deacon with many information: www.deaky.net