Molly Baron, co-founder of Cape Town’s most popular band The Rockets, has passed away. He was 68. Picture: Rogan Ward/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Molly Baron, co-founder of Cape Town’s most popular band The Rockets, has passed away. He was 68. Picture: Rogan Ward/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

The Rockets legend Molly Baron, 68, dies

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Nov 20, 2020

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Cape Town – Molly Baron, co-founder of Cape Town’s most popular band The Rockets, has passed away. He was 68.

Growing up in Bellville South, Baron was one of the founding members of the band who made a name for themselves, touring extensively across South Africa in the 70s and 80s.

According to music historian Warren Ludski’s blog, Baron was raised by his mother in a crowded house with a violent, absent father.

“I learnt to live by my wits but the one thing I knew was that I loved the sound of music,” he told Ludski.

Former band mate Jerry Watt says The Rockets were formed in 1967 and he joined the band three years later.

“It was Molly, myself, Frank Brown, Collin Bones Delight, and Cliffie Valentine. That’s The Rockets that the country got to know,” recalled Watt.

The band stuck together when the chips were down and throughout the 1980s political upheaval in South Africa because they had a vision, Watt said.

“Growing up, our ambition and vision with the Rockets, we never had handouts. We had such a bond, we moved together as one. That’s how we survived,” says Watt.

Top Cape Town artist and former Rockets lead singer Alistair Izobell said he was stunned to hear about Baron’ death.

“I saw him a couple of weeks ago and it was a delight to see that smile he had and the spring in his step.” He said a huge part of his 35 years in the music industry was with The Rockets.

In 1993 Izobell was lead singer along with Theo Watt and Ricardo Groenewald who had the hit song Daddy.

With Baron, The Rockets were an institution in their own right, he said.

“It’s quite sad that Molly was never celebrated as he should have been. He is such an incredible human being. His joy in life was to make other people smile,” said Izobell.

Baron would leave The Rockets in the late 1980s for a solo career but that did not go as planned and he re-joined the band in the 1990s.

“I meet people from back in the day. Those were the days we toured the country. We took the country by storm. We played from Monday to Sunday, there was a show every day of the week. Those were the good days. Music was music,” recalls Watt.

In his later years, Baron worked at a chain store selling musical equipment in Plumstead, while still making music on the weekends performing around Cape Town.

Cape Argus

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