Biography > Queen Biography for 1971

Last updated: March 04, 2009
In January Barry decides that he no longer fitted in the band and leaves. Things were moving to slowly for his liking and he needed to earn some "real money". Queen audition for a new bass player and settle on a guy named Doug - mainly because he already has some equipment. Rehearsals begin in order to initiate Doug into the band.

In February Queen play a show at Kingston Polytechnic - near Doug's home. Doug encourages all of his friends to turn up to the gig. Not far into the set Doug got carried away attempting to impress all of his friends ad did his own "special show" - stealing any attention the rest of the band might have been given. The next day Doug was 'politely' told to find another band...

The band was getting through bass players like no-bodies business - and this was having the effect of depressing the bands normally positive spirits - however the answer was just around the corner...

John Harris, a friend who helped the band out with their lights and equipment took Roger and Brian to a disco at the Maria Assumpta Teaching College. There he introduced them to a friend of his - John Deacon. John was a bass player and the conversation eventually led to music. John who wasn't in a band at the time was offered an audition for bass player of Queen.

John Deacon becomes Queen's bass player for the rest of their career. Throughout John's audition he hardly says a word - but the rest of the group realise his talent. He presents the ideal ingredients of intelligence and musical solidity that will blend into the Queen camp. He is quite a few years younger than the rest of the band, being only twenty, but his quiet willingness not to upset the already sparkling chemistry more than makes up for his tender years.

After the debacle with Doug, the band are most probably relieved that John is unlikely to upstage them...

Freddie designs a logo for Queen based upon their star signs - Leo, Leo, Cancer and Virgo - and armed with their regal back drop, the band head of for their first serious gig with their new bass player.

John's first gig with the band is in Surrey in July. Not long afterwards they play another gig at Imperial College. Queen treat their audience to free popcorn.

They play a show at St Helen's girls school, where the bottom of Freddie's microphone stand falls of half way through - Freddie, the consummate professional, carries on and a trademark is born.

Using his contacts in Cornwall Roger organises a tour for Queen. The tour posters all read "Roger Taylor and Queen" or words to that effect - as Roger was very well known from the days of Reaction.

A friend of Brian's, Terry Yeadon, was involved in setting up a new recording studio in Wembley call De Lane Lea. The studio needed musicians to try out the new equipment. They were particularly looking for a band that could play LOUD. Also the band would be on hand to show potential studio users how the equipment worked. In return for this, the bad would be able to record demo's for free. Queen were luckily enough to be chosen and set about making the best, high quality demo's they could. They record four of their own songs "Liar", "Keep Yourself Alive", "The Night Comes Down" and "Jesus".

With demo tapes in hand Queen began to do the rounds of the record companies - but to no avail. No one was interested.

 

Roger:

We had quite a difficult genesis. It was very difficult for us to get a contract, to be accepted in any way. But many groups went through that, and it does engineer a kind of 'backs to the wall' feeling in a band. So we felt very strong together.