You could have a sporting event without Queen's anthems -- 'We Will Rock You,' 'We Are the Champions' or 'We Want to Break Free' (with the prompter showing the band in drag) -- but it wouldn't be any fun. Either way, you couldn't have Queen without John Deacon, the bass player.
A man of mystery, John Deacon -- the last one most think of when they think of Queen, which is usually often -- wrote their biggest song, 'Another One Bites the Dust' built off a deceptively catchy but barebone-simple bass line. He's equally understated D-D-D-DDD-A line that anchors the remarkable song 'Under Pressure' (with David Bowie) is likely the music world's greatest bass riff.
Not gay (he has six kids and a wife), John deserves extra praise for the lyrics of 'Bites the Dust' -- which appears to be the gayest song ever recorded. It also features the best first word in a song lyric OF ALL TIME: 'Steve.'
'Steve walks warily down the street.'
Read and re-read that line. It is impossible to think of a way to describe motion that is more clunky and offers less aesthetically pleasing cadence than 'warily.' It's hard to say, much less sing.
For a guy most people don't notice, he created:
1) a supergroup's most successful single
2) the world's best bass riff
3) the world's best opening lyric
4) the most deliberately self-sabotaging lyric in terms of cadence and awkwardness
John originally played guitar then 'switched over.'
--> John Deacon, we just want to thank you.
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY
**From March 22 to April 5, FBO is celebrating the forgotten, overlooked, abused or under-utilized bass by noting a handful of bass players you should know about.**