If you, dearest browser, are a visitor (regular or occasional) to
www.dekeleonard.com, you may have noticed that my input has been somewhat limited, bordering on the non-existent, given that the whole point of the website is to open up a communication channel between audience and artist (that's you and me).
It is patently obvious that I have failed miserably to fulfil my contractual obligations. You could call it benign neglect, or you could say it was a shameless betrayal of the implicit covenant that governs our relationship. So, how do I plead? - guilty of all charges. Any mitigating circumstances? - none whatsoever. Benefit of the doubt? - not granted. Clemency? - you must be fucking joking.
But may I present the case for the defence? It is threadbare, inconsequential and riddled with gaping holes, but it's all I've got (the very best I can hope for is to have my case dismissed on the grounds of diminished responsibility). But I will have my day in court. So, ladies and gentlemen of the jury...
I have a serious character flaw. I am, by nature, a compulsive procrastinator (never do today what you can put off until tomorrow, by which time tomorrow will conveniently have become today once more).
I've lived a life postponed, because I'm allergic to constructive activity, although I do have a double-first in time-wasting. I'm reactive rather than proactive and everything I've ever done has been instigated by an outside agency, be it frustrated management, or persuasive fellow bandsmen, or well-meaning friends concerned about my artistic soul. But, left to my own devices, I retreat into a state of catatonic inertia, emerging only to roll another joint. Even as I write this I'm looking for an escape hatch, an unavoidable prior commitment, a justifiable adjournment, any excuse to stop, but none springs to mind. Not that I need a reason. I often capriciously stop working just for the sheer joy of it.
But time is marching on. Now that I'm entering the twilight of my career - perilously close to my seventieth birthday - I have to face the possibility that this may be my last roll of the dice. It's now or never.
So it's time to gird my loins, put my shoulder to the wheel and step up to the plate. It's finally time to put the bit between my teeth and actively strive to fulfil my deferred promise. It's time to abandon my petrified adolescence and embrace diligent adulthood. Sorted! I'll start first thing tomorrow morning.
See? I'm a lost cause. A worthless piece of shite. A person of no account. An underachiever writ large. The laziest bastard in the world. So may I offer you some advice...
Have nothing more to do with me. Stick pins in my effigy, smash my records and burn my books (I know that book-burning gets a bad press but in this case it is entirely justified). Transfer your allegiance to an artist more deserving of your support. May I suggest Bryan Ferry (don't let his total lack of any visible or audible talent put you off, because it is more than counterbalanced by his capacity for hard graft - do you think it's easy maintaining all that ridiculous posturing for 24 hours a day?). So walk away from me, don't look back and erase me from your memory. You know it makes sense.
But before you go, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank [name removed to protect the innocent], without whom this website would not exist. Selflessly, he has shouldered what should have been my burden. He has kept the war-torn standard flying above the battlefield while I, safely behind the lines, caroused with the daughters of the regiment. So, riddled with guilt, I hereby offer him my unconditional dedication to the cause, which, given that I am the cause, seems like the very least I can do.
But if you decide to stick with me to the bitter end, I vow to thee, my fan base - who increasingly resemble a dwindling band of survivors from a nuclear holocaust - that I will dedicate what's left of my life to keeping you amused. Should I fail to do so, it will not be through lack of effort on my part.
With that in mind, I am now going to take up twerking. I have no idea what it is, but all the popstars seem to be doing it these days, so I don't want to miss out. Better safe than sorry,
Speak to you again soon,
The Twang Dynasty is Deke's critical appreciation of some of his favourite guitarists. The book will be launched on December 15 at his gig at the Monkey Bar in Swansea.
Deke Leonard is a cracking storyteller... Buy it now or never call yourself a true lover of rock'n'roll again. - GUITAR Magazine
A genuinely hilarious feast. Forget Spinal Tap. This is the real deal. - CLASSIC ROCK
A real gem... be prepared to laugh out loud. - RECORD BUYER
Leonard writes up a storm. You will find this irresistable - MOJO
Deke has a real talent for writing... a truly great read. - GUITARIST
The quintessential rock'n'roll memoirs that'll have you laughing out loud. Go now and demand your copy. - TIME OUT (London)
This is the story of Welsh rock'n'roll in its trail-blazing years... as rich a slice of rock'n'roll life as you'll find on the bookshelves... Leonard's style is relaxed, eloquent and very funny - huge on atmosphere, characterisation and dialogue. What Spike Milligan did for the army in his series of autobiographies, Deke Leonard is doing for rock'n'roll. - WESTERN MAIL
The man writes like an angel. If there are funnier or truer rock'n'roll memoirs than these, I haven't read them. These books are a continuous joy - funny, insightful and just fascinating. - MAKING MUSIC
I couldn't put it down. What a brilliant book. What a wonderful storyteller. Deke Leonard, what a guy! - PETE FRAME
(creator of BBC1's 'Rock Family Trees')
A frisky autobiography told with cynical, self-effacing wit and lashings of slapstickůmakes you want to string up, jump in a van and
head for the open road. - UNCUT