Cozy Powell

Cozy Powell

"Playing with Cozy Powell is like a kick in the ass for every musician" Jon Lord

Cozy Powell, one of the most prolific drummers in rock, produced the driving beat for a number of legendary groups alongside numerous guest appearances and hit singles in his own right. Whenever he played he was a one-man powerhouse.

Born in 1947 as Colin Flooks, Cozy Powell was to become one of England's greatest drummers. While he began his professional career in 1965 with the little known Sorcerers it wasn't long before his prowess was recognized and this eventually led to him joining a reconstituted Jeff Beck Group in 1971 with whom he recorded two albums.

After this he formed Bedlam, a hard rock band. The group recorded one album before Cozy decided to try recording under his own name. It was this that led to him having three hit singles in the UK, the biggest being "Dance With The Devil" in 1973. After forming and touring with his own group "Cozy Powell's Hammer" he split the group and took a brief sabbatical in 1975 returning as the drummer with Rainbow. Cozy's thunderous and yet rhythmic playing supported Rainbow through four years and four albums before he left in 1980.

At this point Cozy became a "drummer for hire" called in whenever major acts needed to bolster their music with his style of aggressive drumming. At various times he was a member of Whitesnake, the Michael Schenker Group (MSG) and Black Sabbath, for a period he was also the P in ELP as they transformed into Emerson, Lake and Powell. With all these groups he brought his own style and sense of occasion one of the highlights of his time with MSG was his live take on the 1812 Overture during his drum solo.

  • Alongside the major groups, Cozy continued to play on sessions (including Roger Daltrey, Robert Plant, Gary Moore, Cinderella and Brian May) and record his own work, releasing a handful of albums under his own name.

  • Cozy made headlines in 1974 when he set a record for being the world's fastest drummer live on the BBC children's television show "Record Breakers".
    Rex Linn's character, in the 2003 Tommy Lee Jones movie The Hunted, is named after Cozy.

  • Cozy's main love, besides drums, was fast cars. He died when his car crashed on the M4 in England; he was traveling at 104mph, talking on the mobile, while concerned that the engine might seize due to a lack of oil.

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