Deke Leonard – From Axeman To Author

Deke Leonard

If you haven’t heard of Deke Leonard, that’s because you didn’t grow up in the golden age of heavy metal and melodic rock. Only a few of us had that privilege. Deke started out as a starstruck teenager in the Welsh town of Llanelli, and describes himself as serving a life sentence in the music business. He played with several bands, but the most renowned by far is Man. If you haven’t heard of Man, that’s because they never achieved the same dizzy heights as Wishbone Ash or UFO. And if you haven’t heard of those two rock giants, you really need to begin your education.

At present, there are not many Man songs on SongFacts, but hopefully that will be remedied next year. You will find plenty of Man music on YouTube, including the classic Rhinos, Winos & Lunatics, which is also the title of a book, because although he hasn’t yet been paroled from his life sentence, Deke has launched a second career late in life; this probably started as a one-off with his autobiography, but his publisher appears to have liked his flippant style, and he has produced a whole swathe of books since including The Twang Dynasty, a mixture of autobiographical anecdotes and excellent research on the development of his beloved instrument, (he also plays keyboards).


Earlier this month he appeared at the library in his home town for a book signing. Fellow Man founder member Micky Jones died in 2010 aged 63, but Deke, a youthful 71, will hopefully be with us for many years yet. If you have time, or even if you haven’t, check out his books on Amazon as well as his music on the video hub of the world.


About the author

Alexander Baron