Brian May Reflects on John Deacon’s Departure from Queen: “I can’t do this any more”

“Brian May expressed that John Deacon remains an integral member of Queen, despite his choice to stop playing the bass after the passing of Freddie Mercury.”

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Brian May recently discussed bassist John Deacon’s choice to step away from Queen after the passing of lead vocalist Freddie Mercury. May addressed this topic during a question and answer session with readers of The Guardian. In response to a question from a reader named ‘Timsporan’ regarding whether May had any indication that Deacon would leave the band and why he made that decision, May shared the following insights:

“I can only say that historically, John was quite sensitive to stress. We all experienced difficulties coping with the loss of Freddie, but John seemed to struggle more. In 1996, we collaborated on a few projects together: the recording of ‘No One But You,’ a song I wrote about Freddie when we erected a statue in Montreux to commemorate him, and a performance in Paris. We opened the ballet season with a remarkable new piece by Maurice Béjart, inspired by Mozart and Queen. John played bass with us, and Elton John joined us as a vocalist. During that time, John looked at us and said, ‘I can’t continue doing this.'”

“We recognized that he needed a break, but ultimately, he never returned. I cannot go into further detail out of respect for John’s privacy. However, he still plays a role within the band’s operations. Whenever we make significant decisions regarding the business side, we always consult with John. Although he may not communicate directly with us most of the time, he finds a way to express his opinions. He remains an important part of Queen.”

In another part of the interview, Brian May shares his musical preferences, mentioning his admiration for Pink and Avril Lavigne. He admits that he doesn’t have much time to sit down and listen to music due to his involvement in various activities such as creating music, working in astrophysics, advocating for wildlife, and taking care of his family. However, he does have a few CDs in his car that he frequently listens to. Pink is among his favorites, and he describes her as incredible. He also enjoys listening to the Foo Fighters and finds Avril Lavigne’s music consistently refreshing, appreciating the energy and vitality it brings.