Band: Herman's Hermits
Derek Leckenby died aged fifty-one of a Blood Cancer on 4th June, 1994.
Derek Leckenby was born in Leeds, U.K. and was educated at William Hulme's Grammar School in Manchester, United Kingdom. He commenced a civil engineering degree course at Manchester University before leaving to become a professional musician. Derek was part of a Manchester band called the Wailers when music manager Harvey Lisberg recruited him to join Herman's Hermits.
An accomplished lead guitarist and musician, Derek played on many of the Hermit's early hits and composed songs with bandmates Keith Hopwood, Peter Noone and Karl Green. He admired their record producer Mickie Most, but was bothered at times by Most's use of session musicians on Herman Hermit's mid-career hits, despite the Hermits' more-than-acceptable skills as players. .
During the 1970s and 1980s, Derek Leckenby tried to set the record straight with the rock media, explaining that the largest amount of guitar playing was contributed to Herman Hermit's records by him. Derek Leckenby's skills are apparent not only on Herman's Hermits records, but also on videos of Herman Hermit's live appearances including the 1965 NME music awards and the Herman's Hermits Hilton Show. Derek Leckenby is credited with arranging Herman Hermit's first big hit, "I'm into Something Good". His skills on guitar and dobro are heard on releases such as the LP 'A Whale of a Tale' and the later singles, such as "Ginny Go Softly" and "Heart Get Ready for Love".
Despite the split with Peter Noone, Derek Leckenby always spoke highly of his friend and defended the singer's vocal abilities to critics. Peter Noone also praised Derek Leckenby's talent in numerous interviews over the years.