Link to BBC Homepage

Front Page







World News in Audio

On Air


Talking Point


Low Graphics


Site Map

Tuesday, April 7, 1998 Published at 06:39 GMT 07:39 UK


Drummer Cozy Powell is dead
image: [ Cozy Powell in 1989:
Cozy Powell in 1989: "One of the best drummers we've ever had."

Music industry colleagues and fans have paid tribute to the rock drummer, Cozy Powell, who has died aged 50.

The drummer, whose real name was Colin Powell, was killed in a car crash.

According to reports, his Saab 9000 crashed into central reservation barriers on the M4 outside Bristol.

Cozy Powell was a legend in rock circles - his career reading like a roll-call of Seventies supergroups.

The drummer was a member of Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Whitesnake, the Michael Schenker Group and the ELP spin-off Emerson, Lake & Powell.

[ image: Cozy Powell in 1983 during a stint with Whitesnake]
Cozy Powell in 1983 during a stint with Whitesnake
He also appeared with Donovan, The Who's Roger Daltrey, Gary Moore and Queen's Brian May.

However, his membership of most bands was more like a brief guest slot, rather than a long term commitment.

Headlining on his own, his Dance With The Devil single made it to number three in the UK charts in 1973.

Recently, he had made a comeback with Peter Green, a founder member of Fleetwood Mac.


Mr Green's publicist, Roland Hymes, said: "Whenever I met him he seemed a lovely bloke. He had been through it all and had come out the other side," he said.

"Basically he was a nice guy making his living out of music and having a good time."

The record producer, Micky Most, who worked with the drummer, said: "Musically speaking he was one of the best drummers we've ever had in this country.

"He was a great guy, a fantastic musician and he always had a perfect disposition.

'Always great fun'

"I spent a lot of time with Cozy in the Seventies and we went over to Detroit recording together.

"We had a lot of laughs and it was always a pleasurable experience to be around him. He was great fun."

Mr Most said he last saw the drummer around a month ago when Powell popped into his studios for a chat.

"He seemed in very good form. He was always a very `up' guy.

"Cozy worked with some of the greatest people and he was renowned as a great asset through both his attitude and his playing.

"It's a great loss. We're all gutted."

Web fans say 'we'll miss you'

Joe Siegler, Webmaster of a site called the Official Cozy Powell Home Page, paid his tribute shortly after the news broke.

He said he had only known Cozy since November when they talked about doing the site.

"I found him easy to work with, and a really great chap. Cozy, I never met ya, but I'll miss ya," he wrote.

String of bands

His musical career began in 1965 as a member of The Sorcerers. By 1971 he had established an enviable reputation that saw him linking up with guitarist Jeff Beck.

He soon formed his own band, Bedlam, but within two years he was enjoying solo success with his hit single Dance with the Devil.

Other hits included The Man In Black, reaching number 18 and with his band, Cozy Powell's Hammer, he released Na Na Na, which climbed to number 10.

This last project split in 1975 and he spent three months indulging in one of his biggest loves, fast cars.

Rainbow rising

He devoted this spell to motor racing before joining Rainbow and playing on four albums before leaving in 1980.

Later he joined the Michael Schenker Group and had a short tenure with Whitesnake.

By the 1990s he was playing with and producing Black Sabbath and in 1991, he turned up on Comic Relief's No 1 single, The Stonk, with comedians Hale & Pace.

Since then Powell has joined Brian May on a Jimi Hendrix tribute album, and supported Peter Green on his comeback tour.

In past months his sessions have included stints with Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest and Brian May's new album.

He was recently reportedly working with guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen.

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage

Link to BBC Homepage

Internet Links

Drummers on the Internet

Tribute to Black Sabbath

Judas Priest

Official Cozy Powell Home Page (includes audio)

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online

UK Contents

Northern Ireland