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Exclusive Interview with John Deacon

(Hitkrant, 1978)
*Thanks Frances for your contribution and translation

JOHN DEACON plays bass in Queen and is anything but a fast talker, something you often see with bass players. A born introvert, he is more than happy for you to take the words out of his mouth, by smooth chatterboxes like Freddie or Roger for example.

Unlike most bassists, in recent years John has developed more and more into a major songwriter. "SPREAD YOUR WINGS," the latest single, is a striking example of that.

"The song has to do with a number of personal experiences from recent years. I'd rather not say about what in detail, because I don't like to explain songs. People should figure it out for themselves, I think!"

Future Expectations
The small worker with big expectations for the future: "Spread your wings and fly awaycyou're a free man." Just like Sammy in the song, John also spread his wing and soared to great heights with Queen. How has his experience with that fame and wealth been?

"It's not always easy, let me tell you. You deal with a lot of things that arenft always pleasant. Of course, money is wonderful, but I don't need to be very rich. I just don't want to fall back into a state of poverty, which a number of fairly famous musicians have ended up in. I want to try to keep something for the future!"

Quiet
John leads a fairly quiet life when he's not "on the road" with Queen. He's married and has two children, with whom he spends every spare minute he has. He's not very involved with the popscene, claims not to have time to listen to new records, and admits the members of Queen give each other privacy. He thinks it's great that he has more and more opportunities to develop as a songwriter. In addition to "Spread Your Wings," he also wrote the song "WHO NEEDS YOU," which is full of Latin rhythms, for the latest Queen LP.

Spontaneous
John: "That arose spontaneously in the studio. I wrote it with the help of an acoustic guitar and it turned out to lend itself perfectly to that approach. We've also done a reggae-like version. Our songs change constantly when we're in the studio."

He is very talkative when it comes to the new stage show. He said: "We attracted a lot of attention in America. We had a giant crown to which the spotlights are attached made for above the stage. It was tremendously expensive, but we think it's worth it. We think you should give your audience a spectacle, otherwise they might as well stay home and listen to the album!h

Survived
John joined Queen in 1971, a year after the other three formed the group. In the meantime, the group has survived several trends: the hard-rock heyday of Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, glitter rock and punk. John has a simple explanation for that: "That's because we've had hits and we've always done good performances.

-Yet Queen used to be a bit heavier than now. Songs like "LIAR" and "FLICK OF THE WRISTh are becoming rarer.

John grins: "We've just dropped 'Liar' completely. We found that after eight years we were a bit bored with that song."

"Our first two LPs also had melodic songs," he says, and then wants to know how popular Queen really is in the Netherlands.

-Almost as popular as ABBA, I say, and John responds: "We met ABBA recently in Sweden. They came to see our show and said they really liked our songs. They don't perform much themselves, do they?"

-One of them has just had a baby, I explain. "You don't have to worry about that with us," jokes John.


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