One of the most startling things about Queen is that it consists of four completely different personalities who together, achieve an almost perfect group identity. We thought it was about time we looked closer at those individuals, the people behind the musicians that comprise one of the brightest stars in the pop music firmament.
JOHN DEACON, who sometimes reverses his name and becomes Deacon John, is by far the most enigmatic member of Queen. He's by no means unfriendly, but is never as forthcoming with comments as the other three. Often he'll listen quietly while a conversation is going on, just smiling occasionally and filing it all away mentally.
On stage he's the least active, too -- busy providing the rhythm section with Roger, or the "sonic volcano" as they jokingly call it.
"He is playing to the audience all the time though," Brian disclosed. "And it's always him that gets the birds round him after a concert."
John grins at that, and attempts to deny it. "I'm sure it's just that when they come round to get autographs they seem to move in a cluster from one person to the other." No one is convinced.
The truth is that John is attractive to a lot of ladies. He has the same sort of appeal (although I wouldn't for one moment compare the two groups) as George Harrison had in the good old days. Never really a front man, the girls found him fascinating and I wouldn't have been surprised to find he had a lot more fans than the others individually.
Hence my choice of John as the Queen of Hearts. He's another Leo, but born at a different end of the period to Roger; on August 19. It's a typical trait of that sign to be fairly happy and home-loving. Sure enough I've never seen John in a fit of rage -- he seems very home loving and even tempered.
Apart from his obvious musical function within Queen, John is also their electronics wizard. When there are any problems relating to that field he'll be the one who's quietly working to put it right. Few groups can have a better qualified electronics man:
"I went to Chelsea College (that's part of London University) and managed to get a degree. I got a first class honours in electronics...after that (we still had some spare time in those days) I did an M.Sc. in acoustics and vibration technology. It's quite relevant really."
College was also where John met the others.
"I actually met them in a disco. I heard they were looking for a bass player, so I went along for an audition. They were already Queen, and I'd seen them perform once."
To a certain extent John provides a steadying influence on the rest of the group, although they maintain he's not really so quiet all the time.
"He can be the rowdiest member of the band at times -- when he's drunk! The scourge of Trust Houses Forte we call him," his obliging colleagues contributed.
John does have the occasional surprise in store for you. I'd have thought he was the least vain of the whole band. Yet when I last saw him, he'd just done his hair and was preening himself in front of the mirror at Freddie's flat, admitting to being pleased with the effect.
"It doesn't look bad at all, does it," he said, grinning. In fact it looked great -- and if I were one of today's lady killers, I'd be worried. Before Queen are finished John will be capturing a lot more hearts.