Added on 31-Jan-2005
Sunday Mail Article January 30,2005. As mentioned in Brians soapbox.You can visit Brian's web page at www.brianmay.com for his thoughts on this "article".
The idea of legendary rock band Queen going on the road without Freddie Mercury' their flamboyant lead singer who died of AIDS, is inconceivable to many fans. But when the band announced they would embark on their first tour in 19 years this May' the concerts sold out in hours.
When they take to the stage, Mercury's replacement, Paul Rodgers from Bad Company, will be joined by Queen guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. But John Deacon, the 'no-nonsense'bass player will be missing.
What could lie behind his decision to give up the chance to join the lucrative tour? Why has he distanced himself from the remaining band members and resolutely avoided the limelight since Mercury's death in 1991?
Since his colleague's death this solid family man, a dedicated father of six embarked on a pattern of behaviour completely out of keeping with his image as the boring man of rock.
He became a regular at a London strip club and became involved with a lap dancer and glamour model 25 years his junior. Leading an amazing double life, he even bought her a flat and a new Mercedes sports car.
Maybe this awkward-and unlikely situation is why he has refused to give interviews and even failed to attend May's wedding in November 2000 to his longtime girlfriend, actress Anita Dobson.
Although Deacon, 53, was always portrayed as the band's most uncomplicated member, it appears he was, in fact, much more complex and intriguing. For behind his shy, enigmatic demeanour lies a man crippled by insecurities, haunted by the death of Mercury and resentful of the success of May and Taylor.
Deacon was born on August 19, 1951, at St Francis Private Hospital, Leicester. He was the adored eldest son of Lillian and Arthur. Arthur, an insurance broker, took his son on fishing trips and trainspotting expeditions. He also encouraged him to take up the guitar when he was just seven. When his father died suddenly when he was 11, Deacon was devastated. He threw himself into music and formed his own band, The Opposition, when he was 14.
According to Jenny Fewins, who danced with The Opposition, he was 'a boring character. The clearest memory I have of him is being in a dressing room and everybody larking about. John never said a word. He was completely unremarkable.'
After school, Deacon studied electronics at the University of London. There, in 1971, he was introduced to Queen's founder members Taylor and May. They had just recruited Mercury and were casting around for a bass player.
'We were so over-the-top, we thought that because he was quiet, he would fit in with us withouttoo much upheaval,' recalled Taylor. May agreed: 'He's very solid and no-nonsense. He's always got his feet firmly on the ground.'
Privately though, even then Deacon felt detached from his colleagues. He once saie: "We all have our own friends. I would never think of going round to Fred's house and he would never come to mine. We are just poles apart in that sense."
At 20, he met trainee teacher, Veronica Tetzlaff, at a disco. From a devout Catholic family of Polish origin, Veronica shocked her parents when she fell pregnant in October 1974 with their first child Jimmy. Deacon and Veronica hastily married in January 1975.
Typically, at the wedding it was Mercury who stole the show. Wearing a feather boa, with a woman on either arm, the singer made a grand entrance at the Carmelite church in Kensington.
By 1982 Queen had already released their first Greatest Hits album and were cementing their reputation as the biggest British band since The Beatles. Much as he hated the attention. John was forced to live with it but it was having a damaging effect on his marriage and family life.
Ruth Bullen, wife of Deacon's best man. Nigel. says: "When he came back off a tour, he couldnt't revert to being an ordinary person, playing with the kids, taking them to the park a