Deke Leonard, a legend of Welsh rock music, very sadly passed away on January 31st 2017. For over 50 years Leonard was a recording artist, and even more prominent on the live circuit, spending much of his career as a central figure in one of Wales’ most influential bands of all time, Man. As a guitarist he was steeped in the blues rock tradition, and to see him live was to see a raw energy, a clacking jagged guitarist from the era before punk, a rocker whose brutal style sometime hid his instrumental sophistication. Here, as a small way of tribute, Wales Arts Review takes an all-too-brief run through his varied career, from psychedelic rock of the 1960’s up to his most recent more reflective and political solo work. The playlist tries to show just what a superb rock guitarist Leonard was, as well as an excellent songwriter and live performer.
You can also read three extracts from Deke’s autobiography, In the Land of My Fathers, that were exclusively published by Wales Arts Review two years ago. In these charming extracts Deke talks about the differences between the North and South Welsh music scenes, his memories of Peter Ham from Badfinger and the tenacity of Mickey Gee.
Rest in peace, Deke.