Brian May Reveals How John Deacon Disappointed Queen

Brian May recently explained why John Deacon decided to leave Queen after Freddie Mercury’s death while answering some questions from The Guardian readers. He said:

“All I can say is that, historically, John was quite sensitive to stress. We all found it hard losing Freddie, but I think John particularly struggled.”

May also talked about Deacon’s current relationship with Queen by adding:

“We knew that he at least needed a break, but as it turned out, he never came back. I don’t think that I can go into much more detail – we have to respect the fact that John needs his privacy now – but he’s still part of the machinery of the band. 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.”

The guitarist revealed how bassist’s decision disappointed them and went on:

“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 show in Paris. 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. At that moment, John just looked at us and said, ‘I can’t do this anymore.'”

While their ex-bass player remains distant, the band continues to perform with Adam Lambert, who stepped in as the new vocalist after Mercury’s passing. They are gearing up for their 2023 Rhapsody Tour, which will kick off in North America in October.

But Lambert’s not trying to replace the late singer for these shows, as he recently told Music News:

“Listen, there’s no replacing Freddie Mercury. It’s impossible. Freddie Mercury is a mythic rock god. Not only did he sing the hell out of those songs, he wrote so many of them. Those were his stories in a lot of those songs.”

Talking about Freddie’s influence, he added:

“And if I didn’t have the recordings of Freddie Mercury, I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am with this music. So he’s incredibly inspiring, and he definitely gave me all of the ingredients that I needed to even pull it off on stage. So I look at it always as a celebration and a tribute to him.”

You can see the Queen vocalist’s interview in the video below.