TalkBassists Profiles III: JOHN DEACON

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Harry Lime, Nov 23, 2001.

  1. Note: This is the third installment in my TalkBassists Profiles.

    John Deacon was the youngest member of Queen. He was only 20 when the group formed in 1971. He wrote one of Queen's biggest hits: 'Another One Bites the Dust'.

    I recently recieved the brand-new amazing 'Queen: We Will Rock You' DVD for my birthday and it is absolutely incredible! So now I am interested in hearing about John Deacon of QUEEN.

    From watching the video it looked like Deacon had great command of his bass. His hands moved everywhere on the neck. So what does everyone think of him then?
  2. Erlendur Már

    Erlendur Már

    May 24, 2000
    John Deacon is amazing. His playing moves me emotionally, I even know about a non-bassist who is a Deacon fan!
  3. Is one of my major inspirations as a budding bassist. His intimate knowledge of music skyrocketed the power of Queen as a band. His bass talent was a great complement to Brian May's home-made Red Special, and his thick tones set the mood for many songs like "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" and "Bohemian Rhapsody" and other popular Queen songs.

    Not only did Deacon play great, he also wrote some great hits. He wrote great songs, from his most famous "Another One Bites the Dust," to "You're My Best Friend, "I Want to Break Free," and "Spread Your Wings."

    To have Queen Live Killers and Queen Live at Wembley '86 is such a privalege for me. I love his slight improvisations that just perfect a seemingly already flawless song. His fretless bass on "'39" on the Live Killers album is great to listen to, as well as "Another One Bites the Dust" in which he plays a little slap and also improvs while Freddie Mercury sings back and forth with the some 140,000 people at the Wembley concert.

    And who can forget the D-D-D-D-D-D-A groove in "Under Pressure" (That tune was pirated by Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby") that became a popular tune.

    I could go on and on, and I'd never scratch the surface of his talent. I simply love his work. He's a bass great in my book.
  4. D.J


    Jan 31, 2000
    John Deacon is my favourite bass player.
    His early stuff in the '70's with Queen is awesome, but every work he did in the band is great!
    He is one of the best bass players in the last century.
  5. I love John Deacon!!! He is definitely an underrated bass player.HIs lines are tasteful and well chosen
  6. Winston TK

    Winston TK Hairpiece Adventurer

    Oct 8, 2001
    Burnaby, BC Canada
    This is a great thread.

    I'm glad that some people have pointed out not only his bass playing prowess, but his writing skills as well. "Another One Bites The Dust" and "You're My Best Friend" are not only great compositions overall, but they were also Queen's only Number One hits. (Imagine that?)

    I always found his basslines in "Best Friend" to be absolutely phenomenal. That's one of those deceptively simple-sounding songs -- overall, a sweet little tune, but the bass playing is all over the place! And always very tasteful.

    Queen was a great band, and John Deacon certainly added to that greatness.

    P.S.: I also read many years ago that he designed and/or built his own bass enclosures, and even had a hand in working on Brian May's rigs over the years. Hopefully one of you out there can track down more information on this.
  7. ChrisRae


    Jan 25, 2001
    North Wales, UK

    Yep, he also built his own amp and as far as I am aware, Brian still has and uses an amp originally built for him by John (Although Brian is obviously a bit of an AC30 man! ;-) as well)
  8. D.J


    Jan 31, 2000
    Yeah! The Deaky Amp!!
  9. I've had "The Best Of" for years, and I never realised how good Deacon really was until I sat down and tried to work out "Killer Queen". I'd always been distracted by the genius harmonised guitar solo before. But the bass on that tune is fantastic.

    A fine player, and a lot more proficient than he sounds at first listen. Great band too.
  10. All four members of Queen had a degree. John Deacon had a degree in electronics, which explains why he was able to build a "Deaky amp."

    Anyone know what Deacon is up to these days? And what kind of bass do you think he's playing in that "Queen: We Will Rock You" (see my topic of this in "Recordings") video?

    Who were his influences?

    Thanks for the replies, keep 'em coming John Deacon fans! It's 18-8 on replies, Entwistle.
  11. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Deacon is definitely an influence of mine, and a very underrated player and composer.
  12. Isaw a documentary on Queen last nite, and I am a total fan. I too tried to figure out "Killer Queen" and was absolutely perplexed for about 20 minutes until I got it finally! :)
  13. D.J


    Jan 31, 2000
    I think primary influences of John are Chris Squire (he told so in an interview) and JPJ.
  14. ChrisRae


    Jan 25, 2001
    North Wales, UK
    I have heard him cite the following as major influences:
    Paul McCartney, R&B, Motown (hence Another Bites the Dust, which initiailly, the rest of the band esp. Freddie were not really taken by)
  15. Is Deacon using a pick or is he using his index and middle (fingerstyle) on "Another One Bites The Dust"? And which bass did he record that song with? Anything else like any effects he used would be appreciated as well. Thanks.
  16. Dave Castelo

    Dave Castelo

    Apr 19, 2000
    I love the Deacon!

    up there with JPJ and JE...

    actually he has a nicer bass tone than them
  17. Also, how am I supposed to play the 16th measure of AOBTD?

    1&2 e and ah 3 e and 4
    EE S S S S E

    The correct fingering, that is. Index on the "3s", middle on the 4, ringer finger barred for the two "5s"? Or use pinky for the "G" note on third string?
  18. D.J


    Jan 31, 2000
    John used his Musicman Stingray to record this great song.
  19. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Deacon wrote "You're My Best Friend" too. Great song.
  20. NukeBass


    Jul 8, 2000
    Cornelius, NC
    I like A Day At the Races for his bass playing. I love Teo Torriatte and Millionare Waltz. That is a solid album from start to finish. If you're a Deacon (or Queen) fan, then it would be a good one to pick up. It has You and I which I think is his best tune.