John Richard Deacon was born on Sunday, August 19, 1951 to Lillian Molly and Arthur Henry Deacon. At the young age of seven, John's parents bought him his first guitar, a red plastic "Tommy Steele" special.
Arthur always encouraged John to tinker with electronics, a hobby that Arthur himself loved. One of John's early projects included adapting an old reel-to-reel tape recorder to record music off of the radio -usually the Beatles and Alan Freeman's Hit Parade. As electronics grew into a passion, John thought of turning his hobby into a career.
John's interest in music also grew as he soon bought the Beatles first two albums. As a huge fan of the Fab Four, he decided he wanted to learn how to play the guitar. He soon would save enough money from his early morning paper round to buy a proper one. John diligently practiced the instrument and soon was found jamming in his friend's garage.
At the age of fourteen, John formed his first band, The Opposition. Throughout the next few years, The Opposition went through frequent member changes and played many a gig. By the end of 1966, they had earned quite a following throughout Leicester. Later that year, the Opposition's bassist Clive Castledine left the band, leaving John to fill the gap. He bought his first bass, an EKO for £22. Because of the new lineup, the band changed their name in a daring move to The New Opposition.
1969 saw John leaving the band (now called ART) for London. Here studied electronics at Chelsea College, which is part of the University of London. He did not take part in the music scene at school, but of course brought along his old acoustic guitar just in case an opportunity came up.
In October of 1970, John went to see a performance by a band called Queen. He recalls, " They were all dressed in black, and the lights were very dim too, so all I could see were four shadowy figures. They didn't make a lasting impression on me at the time".
As he began his second year at college, John realized that he missed music and wanted to be involved in a group. He soon convinced his mother to drive his equipment to school for him. He soon found a few people to play with, yet felt awkward. 1971 soon rolled around, John while looking through the local paper, found a "musician wanted" ad. He only attended one audition, but did not get the gig.
In the early months of 1971, John was introduced to Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen. They had been going through a slew of bass players and had just lost another. They asked John if he was interested in auditioning. Soon enough, he found himself arriving at a lecture hall at Imperial College where the band was rehearsing. He brought along his bass and a tiny amp that he constructed (now known as the legendary Deacy Amp). He began to learn Son & Daughter and a few other songs the band had been playing. A few days later, John Richard Deacon became the fourth and final member of Queen.