Saturday, 29 December 2012
Cozy Powell born 29 December 1947
Colin Flooks (29 December 1947 – 5 April 1998), better known as Cozy Powell, was an English rock drummer who made his name with many major rock bands. Considered to be one of England's best drummers, and very much in demand for rock and pop records, Cozy Powell was almost legendary for a heavy-hitting style that could be made to work with many kinds of rock music, whether for the thundering pop productions helmed by Mickie Most, Black Sabbath, Emerson, Lake & Powell, or even his own solo work (notably "Dance with the Devil," which was a major English hit in 1973.)
Cozy Powell was born in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, England, and started playing drums at age 12 in the school orchestra, thereafter playing along in his spare time to popular singles of the day. The first band he was in, called the Corals, played each week at the Youth Club in Cirencester. At age 15 he had already worked out an impressive drum solo. The nickname 'Cozy' was borrowed from the jazz drummer Cozy Cole.
The semi-professional circuit was next, with semi-pro outfit The Sorcerers, a vocal harmony pop band. The late nights and usual on-the-road exploits began to affect his education, and Powell left to take an office job in order to finance the purchase of his first set of Premier drums. The Sorcerers performed in the German club scene of the 1960s. By 1968 the band had returned to England, basing themselves around Birmingham. Powell struck up friendships with fellow musicians like Robert Plant and John Bonham (both at the time unknowns in Listen), future Slade vocalist Noddy Holder, bassist Dave Pegg and a young guitarist called Tony Iommi. The Sorcerers now became Youngblood, and a series of singles were released in late 1968–69. The group then linked up with the Move bassist/singer Ace Kefford to form The Ace Kefford Stand. Powell also began session work. Powell with fellow Sorcerers Dave and Dennis Ball formed Big Bertha.
Powell also played with swamp rocker Tony Joe White at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970. During this time the two became good friends, with White being best man at Powell's wedding. Powell then landed the then highly prestigious drumming job with Jeff Beck's group in April 1970. Their first project was to record an album of Motown covers in the USA. This was never finished and remains unreleased. After the recording of two albums, Rough and Ready (October 1971) and Jeff Beck Group (July 1972), the band fell apart.
In 1971, Powell formed Bedlam, but eventually abandoned this project to produce singles such as "Dance with the Devil." He later formed Cozy Powell's Hammer, which broke up in 1975. After a brief sabbatical, he joined Rainbow, helping to give the band a thundering rhythm section before quitting after four years and four albums in 1980. Always in demand for the drum seat, he alternated between session work and working in a variety of bands, including the Michael Schenker Group, Graham Bonnet, Whitesnake and Black Sabbath, Keith Emerson and Greg Lake, Gary Moore, never staying in any one band for very long.
In 1996, he worked with former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green on his long-awaited comeback tour. At the time of his death on April 5, 1998, he was recuperating from a foot injury that had sidelined him from touring work with guitarist Yngvie Malmsteen. He was driving on the M4 Motorway towards Bristol when he apparently lost control of his car (due to bad weather), slamming into the center divider of the motorway. He died a few hours later in the hospital. According to the BBC report, at the time of the crash, Powell's blood-alcohol reading was over the legal limit, he was not wearing a seatbelt, and he was talking to his girlfriend on his mobile phone.
He was living at Lambourn in Berkshire at the time and had returned to the studio shortly before his death to record with Fleetwood Mac co-founder Peter Green. By that time, he had been the drummer on at least 66 albums with minor contributions on many other recordings. Many rock drummers have cited him as a major influence.
(Info AMG & mainly Wikipedia)