John Richard Deacon (born 19 August 1951) is an English musician, best known as the bassist for Queen.
Deacon grew up in Leicester where his father Arthur worked for the Norwich Union insurance company. He was known to friends as 'Deaks' and attended Langmoor Junior School, Gartree High School and Beauchamp Grammar School in the city and achieved 8 GCE O level and 3 A level passes, all at grade A. It was in Leicester that he formed his first band, The Opposition, in 1965 at the age of fourteen. He played a rhythm guitar bought with money borrowed from one of the other band members. He became the bassist after the original bassist was fired for not being of the same quality as the rest of the band. As well as a dedicated musician Deacon also was the band's archivist, taking clippings from newspapers of even the advertisements featuring The Opposition. After being in the band for four years, Deacon played his final concert with the band (then called The Art) in August 1969. He left as he had been accepted to study at Chelsea College.
Although he left his bass and amplifier at home in Oadby, Leicester after less than a year in London where he went on to achieve a First Class Honours Degree in electronics at Chelsea College, now part of King's College London, he decided he wanted to join a band. By this time Queen had already been formed by Brian May, Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor, and Deacon even saw them in October 1970. In early 1971 he was introduced to Taylor and May by a friend at a disco who told him that they were in a band that had just lost its bassist. A couple of days later he auditioned in a lecture room at Imperial College London and became the last member of Queen to join the band. Since the band's last bassist drew attention away from Mercury, Deacon was selected for his musical talent, his quiet demeanour and his electrical skills. A persistent legend claims Deacon was the seventh bassist auditioned.
On Queen's first album he was credited as "Deacon John". Not long after its release, he requested that he be referred to by his proper name.
His first writing credit did not come until Queen's third album, Sheer Heart Attack. The song Stone Cold Crazy was his first writing credit but the song was also credited to the other three members of the band. The first song Deacon wrote on his own was the song "Misfire" from the same album, a Caribbean-themed song that garnered little attention. He would achieve much greater success with his second song, "You're My Best Friend", which went on to be an international hit.
He was the 'quiet' member of the band, and the others said that he was in charge of most of the finances. His last public appearance with the band was at an AIDS Charity event in 1997, and his last direct involvement with Queen, was with the recording of "No-One But You".
He lives in Putney in South West London with his wife Veronica Tetzlaff. Married since 18 January 1975, the two have six children: Robert (born 1975), Michael (born 1978), Laura (born 1979), Joshua (born 1983), Luke (born 1992) and Cameron (born 1993).
According to The Sunday Times Rich List he is worth a £65 million as of 2008.
As a trained electronics engineer, he often used to build equipment for the band. His most famous creation is the "Deacy Amp", used by Deacon and Brian May, for instance for the guitar part on the ending of Bohemian Rhapsody.