The Queen and Freddie Mercury biopic hit cinemas four years ago and heralded another renaissance for the iconic band. Rami Malek won the Oscar for his extraordinary portrayal of Freddie, with Gwilym Lee as Brian May, Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor and Joseph Mazzello as John Deacon. On screen, as in real life, Deacon was noticeably quieter than the other three and he was the one who quit the band (and the music business) after their frontman’s death in 1991. When the band was eventually revived, he refused to come back and the other two have revealed just how little contact they have with him. However, he is still, very occasionally spotted close to his London home. SCROLL DOWN TO SEE JOHN DEACON NOW
Promoting the movie, 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.”
However, he is still a formal member of Queen, in business terms at least, retaining his quarter share in their affairs. May and Taylor still keep Deacon informed about all financial concerns related to the band and he was also sent the early scripts for the film for approval but that was as far as his involvement went.
May told Rolling Stone magazine Deacon no longer takes any active part in the legacy of Queen or potential projects: “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.”
The reclusive legend is rarely seen in public and took no part in any of the promotions or celebration of the film. MOST RECENT PICTURES OF JOHN DEACON IN PUBLIC HERE.
In a new interview with 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? Joe (Mazello) who played John nailed his mannerisms but made him slightly too posh. Deacy was from Leicester and had a bit of a Northern accent. But all of them were amazing. They must have watched hours of footage of us all.”
Deacon and Freddie were particularly close, with the singer once saying of his ‘quiet’ friend “don’t underestimate him, he’s got a fiery streak under all that.” The bass player also said: “Behind the scenes, I can be as noisy as anybody else.”
Freddie’s long-term PA Peter Freestone said: “Freddie took John under his wing because he was the new boy. He was shy, not like Brian and Roger. He wanted to protect him. Without Freddie there, John was not able to stay in the band. Freddie drew the attention away, and without Freddie there, I don’t think John could face any of it.”
May added: “I think losing Freddie was very hard for him as well. He found that incredibly hard to process, to the point where actually playing with us made it more difficult.”
Deacon famously said: “As far as we are concerned, this is it. There is no point carrying on. It is impossible to replace Freddie.”
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The band’s output fell to one final original studio album, 1995’s Made In Heaven, using archive recordings made by the singer before his death, with no live performances after the 1992 Freddie tribute concert.
Deacon worked on 1997’s No-One but You (Only the Good Die Young), which was included on the Queen Rocks compilation album. After a final live appearance at the Béjart Ballet in Paris to commemorate Freddie, he officially retired.
The intensely private star continues to live in Putney in Southwest London with his wife Veronica Tetzlaff, in the same home where they raised their six children.