Written by Mark Hodkinson (OMUNIBUS PRESS)
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John Deacon, on one of his infrequent trips back to Oadby, played a pre-release tape of 'Keep Yourself Alive' to his former colleague in The Opposition, Dave Williams: "I remember he turned up with this demo. He was driving a massive old Rover car at that time. I thought the song was really good, I distinctly remember saying that the guitar playing was really good, nearly as good as Ritchie Blackmore. We were all into Deep Purple in a big way and I thought this was a great compliment, but John waid he wasn't sure how Brian would respond to this!"
Before he returned to London, John Deacon asked Dave Williams to carry out a special favour. To activate sales of Queen's début album, he asked him to travel around Leicester pre-ordering it from shops. "I started a bit later than I should," he said. "It must have already been released, because everywhere I went I was told it was sold out. I was a bit surprised because I didn't think many people had heard of Queen. I was really proud of John."
Another friend John Deacon invariably tracked down in Oadby was Nigel Bullen, the former drummer with The Opposition. He also had an early introduction to the music of Queen when John Deacon arrived with an advance tape of the first album. Both Nigel Bullen and his wife Ruth felt they already knew of Queen's importance to John, but they were astonished by his white hot intensity. Before the evening was finished John Deacon was talking of Queen's ten-year plan and going into great detail about future world tours; it all seemed extremely imaginative, though they didn't mention it. "His personality is usually quiet and reserved but he was the most animated I have ever seen him that night," said Ruth Bullen. "He spent hours talking about Queen, constantly playing the album through. It was all done so intelligently, with such microscopic detail. He was talking about other bands and how they'd been ripped off and how everything had to be so well organised from the very beginning."