It was with great sadness that we learned on Wednesday that Deke Leonard had passed away. Another great loss and shock for the world of music.
He played in so many bands in his formative years. Being a huge Elvis fan, he changed his name from Roger to Deke (after Elvis’s character Deke Rivers in ‘Loving You’).
As part of MAN and then ICEBERG and then MAN (again) he was an incredibly innovative guitar player. He had a unique voice with that totally recognisable ‘hard edge’. He also had a gigantic talent with words.
We were fortunate to be involved in so many amazing live shows over many years, and it was always inspiring.
Deke’s partnership with Micky Jones was something to behold, just about telepathic, super talents that blended and took notes and then made them soar and dive and thrill.
Sadly many of the members of MAN have passed, so perhaps there might be a heavenly reunion somewhere.
We know that George Jones (Micky Jones' son) brilliantly continues the legacy of the Man Band and it was wonderful to know that Deke was playing with the band in December, and in great form.
Deke was loved and admired around the world. In addition to his very special musical talents, his writing was full of humour and irony and touched anyone who’s ever been involved in the music industry.
His award winning radio shows for BBC Radio Wales will live on and on and stand the test of time, giving such insight to rock ‘n’ roll in the early days.
We know that his beloved Mary (as he always called her – and who made his life so special) must be heartbroken, along with his adored Katy and granddaughter Eydie, Ric and all the family as well as so many friends and colleagues who have always felt he was part of their family.
Deke lived with us for several years, so we were fortunate enough to share a lot of his thoughts and witness some of his writing, which often came from the same blue chair that seemed his ‘comfortable’ place.
MAN and Deke’s music is still a very constant part of our lives, played loud and often.
He leaves us with many very special memories. Quite simply, he was our friend and we loved him.
This image seems the perfect way to close these few words for the Welsh Wizzard.
Rest in peace - Legend.
Barrie & Jenny