JOHN Deacon was spotted going for a stroll while puffing on a cigarette near his home in Putney, London.
The Queen bass guitarist, 69, looks unrecognisable from his days in the legendary band – but still enjoys smoking like a rockstar.
John wrote Another One Bites the Dust and other big hits for Queen, but left when their frontman, Freddie Mercury, died in 1991.
As reported at the time, John said of Freddie’s death: “As far as we are concerned, this is it.
“There is no point carrying on. It is impossible to replace Freddie…
“I can’t sing; it’s the one thing I wish I could do, because it would make songwriting so much easier!”
The musician, who is worth an estimated £105million, now chooses to remain out of the limelight, rarely making public appearances, even opting not to join his bandmates at their induction into the Rock and Roll Music Hall of Fame.
The father-of-six still remains a quarter shareholder in Queen Productions Limited, but has reportedly has not had contact with his former bandmates for more than a decade.
Guitarist May previously said: “It’s his choice. He doesn’t contact us. John was quite delicate all along.”
While drummer Taylor said more unfavourably: “We’re not in touch but John’s a sociopath, really, and he’s given his blessing to whatever Brian and I might do with the brand — and we’ve done rather a lot.”
The unassuming musician’s reserved character was partly the reason the famously flamboyant Queen decided to take him on.
He was seen as a steady pair of hands to anchor the ship led by the larger than life Mercury.
Following the frontman’s death from AIDS-related complications in 1991, Deacon performed twice more with Queen, in 1992 and 1997 tribute concerts, respectively.
The reclusive star’s lifestyle in later life is far removed from the wild antics of the band’s 70s and 80s heyday, which saw them indulge in decadent excess and host massive parties.
In a rare interview in more recent years, Deacon shared his love of tea and his children, and he is also said to be a keen golfer.
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