Brian May Says John Deacon Still Involved in Band: “He’s Still Very Much Part of Queen”

“I don’t think that I can go into much more detail,” said May. “We have to respect the fact that John needs his privacy now, but he’s still part of the machinery of the band.”

May added, “If we have any major decision, business-wise, it’s always run past John. It doesn’t mean he talks to us—generally, he doesn’t—but he will communicate in some way. He’s still very much part of Queen.”

Shortly after Freddie Mercury‘s death in 1991, Deacon decided to retire from music soon after. “As far as we are concerned, this is it,” said Deacon. “There is no point carrying on. It is impossible to replace Freddie.”

Deacon played three more times with the band, including the 1992 Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert and a charity concert with Roger Taylor at Cowdray House in England in 1993. His last live performance with Queen was the opening of the Bejart Ballet in Paris in 1997, where the band played one of the final songs they recorded with Mercury, “The Show Must Go On,” with Elton John on vocals.

He worked with Queen one last time for the recording of their 1997 song, “No One But You (Only the Good Die Young),” on the Queen Rocks album.

Since then, Deacon has retired from music and has remained out of the public. He opted Queen’s earlier reformation with Paul Rodgers and their most recent one with Adam Lambert.

The bassist, who formed Queen with Mercury, May, and Roger Taylor in 1970, also wrote some of the band’s biggest hits, including “I Want to Break Free,” “You’re My Best Friend,” and “Another One Bites the Dust.”

“All I can say is that, historically, John was quite sensitive to stress,” said May in a recent interview. “We all found it hard losing Freddie [Mercury], but I think John particularly struggled. We did do a couple of things together—in 1996, the recording of ‘No One But You,’ the song I wrote about Freddie when we were putting up the statue to commemorate him in Montreux [Switzerland]—and one [final] show in Paris.”

Elaborating on their last performance with Deacon, May added, “It was to open the ballet season with an amazing new work by Maurice Béjart, about Mozart and Queen. We played with John on bass, and Elton John sang with us.”

He continued, “At that moment, John just looked at us and said, ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ We knew that he at least needed a break, but as it turned out he never came back.”

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