Back in the days when nobody was ashamed to be called hippy, Welsh band Man were the closest thing the British side of the Atlantic had to those all-time great star-truckers the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers.
Maybe they lived too much in the shadow of Swansea’s Dark Satanic Mills ever to be as carefree as their American blood brothers but they gigged and gigged, smoked a lot of dope, and gigged again, singing songs about gigging and smoking and playing everything like they knew what they were talking about. Which they did.
Micky Jones, Deke Leonard and Clive John were the nucleus of the first Man – the one immortalised on two Pye albums, Revelation and Two oz. of Black Plastic With A Hole In The Middle.
In their first six years, the band went through six line-ups. In 1975, they were joined by John Cipollina (ex-Quicksilver Messenger Service). In Man, Cipollina found a band that let him stretch out like he hadn’t done since 1969, and in return, Micky Jones and the boys found the inspiration for some very fine music.
Man eventually split up in 1976 with three nights at the Roundhouse. They recorded their last hours for posterity too (just like Man really – their eight-year history was studded with live albums invariably taped on ‘historic’ occasions.)
Micky Jones died on 10 March 2010 following a long fight against a brain tumour. Deke Leonard passed away in January 2017, aged 72.
Roger ‘Deke’ Leonard
Vocals, guitar, keyboards
Keyboards, guitar, vocals