South African music legend Colin ‘Bones’ Delight, has died

Colin ‘Bones’ Delight. Picture: Supplied

Colin ‘Bones’ Delight. Picture: Supplied

Published Feb 17, 2024


South African music legend Colin ‘Bones' Delight, has died.

Delight, 69, who served as the lead singer of The Rockets, was the last survivor of the original band.

The father of two and grandfather of seven, passed away at his Johannesburg home after battling cancer for 13 years.

Helen Delight, his wife, told Weekend Argus: “Colin suffered for a long time. The cancer really affected him. He had a lot of pain and decided to stop all medical treatment in June last year.

“He started off with colon cancer, but three weeks ago, he was hospitalised and doctors said the cancer spread throughout his body. He was at home surrounded by his family every day.

“On Thursday, the day he died, we were all at his bedside. We knew this day would come, we were preparing for this as a family.

Helen and Colin ‘Bones’ Delight. Picture: Supplied

“It was his choice to go off treatment. He didn't want to do hospitals anymore. He knew he was going to a better place. In the last few weeks, we had many discussions about his passing and our kids were there, lying on the bed with the grandchildren. We got people to come and talk him through everything.

“Colin was afraid, he was worried about a lot of things in the last few weeks.”

Helen and Colin celebrated a special day on February 14, the day they started dating in 1974.

“He was excited to reach this 50-year mark,” she said.

Delight was known for his sleek moves and smooth voice. His bandmates Molly Baron, Jerry Watts, Frank Brown and Cliffie Valentine, were one of the most vibrant bands around locally. The band started life in 1967, with Delight replacing Robbie Jansen as the band's vocalist in 1971. He stayed with the band until 1988.

The band members have all passed away and Colin was the last remaining member, who witnessed the break of The Rockettz New Generation, a band which follows in the footsteps of The Rockets.

Helen said her husband would have celebrated his 70th birthday milestone later this month, on February 24.

“I'm sure that he is reunited with his beloved band mates who will be having quite a party for his 70th.

“He kept telling me that they are waiting for him.”

The Rockets band in the 70s. Back L-R:: Colin ‘Bones’ Delight, Cliffie Valentine, Frank BrownFront L-R: Jerry Watt and Molly Baron Picture:Supplied

Delight, who was born and raised in Harfield, Cape Town, moved to Johannesburg with his wife in 1984. They married in 1987 and had two daughters.

“He was my best friend, I won't say our lives were rosy all the time but he always made sure I knew I was loved,” she said.

The Rockets 1975. Picture: Supplied

Former Rockets band member Allistair Izobel said: “I was devastated hearing the news of Colin, someone I've known literally for as long as I've been performing and most incredible times. He certainly is the true essence of what legendary is, we seem to use that word so loosely. But when you hear the name Colin ‘Bones' Delight across the colour spectrum, there's a memory and encounter and experience of not only ‘The Rockets’ era and the music that they made, but also Colin's chuckle. His half American accent.

“I'm very saddened by his passing. Today, I celebrate the gift of his life and his laughter on this raspy tone of his voice in my heart.”

Manual Losper, who leads The Rockettz New Generation, said: “I was fortunate to do a few performances with this legend. He really was an amazing musician and person, his bubbly personality was infectious and he had pure talent from the moment he took the stage. His presence was everything.”

The family will host a memorial around 26 or 27 February, followed by a private cremation.

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Weekend Argus