Freddie Mercury was particularly close to John Deacon, often travelling together on tour, while Brian May and Roger Taylor gravitated towards each other. Bohemian Rhapsody, which is back on TV tonight, shows the close bonds between all the bandmates and their extraordinary story of their rise all the way to that iconic 1985 performance at Live Aid. The film was a staggering success, taking over $900million at the global box office and helping the latest resurgence in the band’s seemingly never-ending popularity. And yet, Deacon was not involved in the blockbuster’s production or promotion and Taylor admitted he and May have “no contact” with their reclusive bandmate.
Taylor previously admitted he hadn’t spoken to his bandmate for “over a decade… I haven’t heard a squeak from John, not a single guttural grunt.”
May and Taylor still keep Deacon informed about all financial concerns related to the band by correspondence and have revealed that if they do not hear back from him they assume he is happy with their decisions. The bass player was also sent the early scripts for the film for approval, but that was as far as his involvement went in the project.
He took no part in the interviews and red carpets for the film, just as he has not appeared at any Queen events or anniversaries since taking the stage at the Ballet for Life on January 17, 1997, at the Paris National Theatre de Chailioton, alongside Taylor, May and Elton John.
May told Rolling Stone magazine: “John doesn’t want to be (involved). He’s in his own space and we respect that. It’s a shame, because we would love to have him around but he doesn’t want to be in that arena anymore… He just doesn’t want to be walking those roads.”
Talking to Mojo, Taylor was asked if Deacon had even seen the film: “No idea. We don’t have any contact with John. I wonder if one of his kids might have been to see it. Who knows?”
In fact, Deacon continues to live quietly and unflashily very far removed from his former superstar life…
The band members and friends of Deacon have spoken about his retirement from the public eye and music industry, but the musician himself has never publicly commented on the matter after he quit the band in 1998.
All agree that Freddie’s death hit the shy and quiet star particularly hard.
In a recent documentary, Taylor added: “After Freddie died, it took me a year to even start to want to think about doing things. I just thought ‘Settle down and try and live with the present and see how you feel.’
“John freaked out and decided he really couldn’t deal with being in the music business anymore, It was an odd period. Really the band was over.”
WATCH QUEEN TALK ABOUT JOHN DEACON’S FINAL APPEARANCE BELOW:
Deacon actually still lives with his family in the same house he bought with his first proper royalties from Queen, a four-bedroom suburban home in Putney, London.
He met trainee teacher Veronica Tetzlaff in 1971 and they married on January 18, 1975, when she was expecting their first child Robert. The couple have five further children: Michael, Laura, Joshua, Luke and Cameron.
Ruth Bullen the wife of Nigel, John’s best man at his wedding, said of Victoria: “She is a lovely person, completely unpretentious. I’ve got the impression down the years that their children are the most important things to her.”