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The RockIt Scientist
on 1485 Radio Today

1485 Radio Today
Also on DStv
Audio Channel 70

The RockIt Scientist is a very diverse music programme that features Progressive/ Hard/ Classic Rock, Blues, Brass Rock, Latin/ African Rock, Jazz and Metal music.

As "non-commercial/ non-Top 40" music ranging from the mid sixties to the present day is featured, the intention is to cater for the more discerning music listener, with no age limits or restrictions imposed or implied. An open mind and a love of music is mandatory!

The programme, which is broadcast on 1485am Radio Today, every Friday evening between 10pm and 1am, is presented by Leon Economides, who has worked with radio greats such as Tony Sanderson (Chuckle and Chat Show on Radio 5), Chris Prior (The Priority Feature on Radio 5), Phil Wright (The Dinosaur Days on 5fm), and Rafe Lavine (Rock Classics and The Great Unknowns on Radio 5, and the original RockIt Scientists on SAfm).

Radio Today is also available nationwide on the DStv Audio Channel 70.


I was born in 1958, I'm an assurance broker, married to a beautiful lady called Cie (actually Catherine!) and I have a son, Paris, born in 2004. I live in Bryanston, Johannesburg.

I grew up in Jhb, fully into music from the age of about 5 years old (I was reared on music like the soundtracks of Ben Hur, El Cid and others, which maybe explains why I love music with orchestras and brass, with a bit of a Classical feel). I made a point of collecting records of rare/non commercial bands from a young age, concentrating on bands like ELP, King Crimson, Captain Beyond, Beggars Opera, Atomic Rooster, Black Sabbath, If, Gravy Train and countless others. It's very difficult for me to tell you who my ultimate best band of all time is, because I like to believe that my taste is very diverse, encompassing blues, jazz, hard rock, classical, prog rock, psychedelia, folk, etc, and I have my "favourites" in each of those genres.

If I had to stick my neck out and mention one band out of my entire collection that has had a profound effect on my life and will be the band that I will take to the grave with me, that would have to be Canadian band Lighthouse. They have it all: a great rhythm section, killer brass, strings and phenomenal songwriting. They split in the early 70's and reformed a few years ago, but it's the Lighthouse of the past that has been indelibly stamped in my heart. I've kept all my vinyl albums (except for a few thousand 70's disco albums that I stupidly sold about ten years ago), and my collection now numbers about 13 thousand LP's and about 12 thousand CD's.

Favorite track? Impossible to isolate, but a few tracks have a lot of meaning for me. One of them, oddly enough, is by Lighthouse, called "Old Man", another is by the Marshall Tucker Band called "Running like the Wind". My favorite guitar solo is on a track called "Passacaglia" by Beggars Opera, off their first album, "Act One", way back in the early 70's. Musically, although there are many great latter day bands like Queensryche, Thunder, Spock's Beard, etc, I find that I'm still seriously stuck in the seventies, which I found to be the most important and influential era for music as we know it today. Warhorse, Camel, Brian Auger's Oblivion Express, Tonton Macoute, Spring, Jericho.... these are the bands that I grew up with, very different to what my friends were listening to, and hence I found myself alone with my music quite regularly.

I was a disc jockey in a number of clubs in the 70's (yes, I even enjoyed some of the disco bands of the time - at least they used real instruments!). I managed a live music venue called Jaggers in Rosebank, Jhb, for many years. Jaggers was the launching pad for many great SA bands such as Sweatband, Mango Groove, The Passengers, Johan Laas' various groups, etc, etc.

I absolutely detest "insincere" and "false" music such as techno, house, rave... call it what you will, which may be a bit of a strong statement to make, because I understand and accept the fact that this kind of crap will outsell "my" kind of music any day of the week. In my humble opinion, that kind of drivel doesn't deserve to be called music!

Contact Leon here

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