By Drew Mers
Cozy Powell, born Colin Flooks in December 29, 1947 and died in April 5, 1998, was an English rock drummer who was widely identified with the group Rainbow.
Born in Gloucestershire, England, Powell began playing the drums at age twelve. From playing during his spare time, he was recruited to Corals, his first band, with whom he played weekly at the Youth Club in Cirencester. By age fifteen, he was already an incredible drummer, with notable drum solos. He adopted the name Cozy from the jazz drummer Cozy Cole.
When Powell came back in 1975, he joined Ritchie Blackmores hard rock and heavy metal band Rainbow, replacing drummer Gary Driscoll. Powell stayed with the band for the next five years, during which period Rainbow released their most successful album so far, 1979s Down to Earth LP, featuring the singles Since You Been Gone and All Night Long. Powell then left the band, after headlining at the first ever Monsters of Rock show at Castle Donington, England in August 1980.
Interestingly, Powell was one of the choices for the Led Zeppelin drummer to succeed John Bonham after the latter died in 1980. The band later on fell apart.
When Powell left Rainbow, he collaborated with a number of musicians, one of which is Graham Bonnet, on the album Graham Bonnet & The Hooligans. He also played drums with the bands Michael Schenker Group and Whitesnake. He also teamed up with Keith Emerson and Greg Lake to form Emerson, Lake & Powell, an English rock band as well. He also worked together with Phenomena and Gary Moore. From 1988 to 1991, and 1995 to 1996, Powell joined Black Sabbath, and was instrumental in the recording and release of four albums, Headless Cross, Tyr, Forbidden, and The Sabbath Stones.
Powell set a world record for being the worlds fastest drummer on the BBC childrens show Record Breakers. Using the old name Cozy Powells Hammer, he set up a touring band and performed throughout Europe from 1992 to 1993. He was with bassist Neil Murray, guitarist Mario parga, and vocalist/rhythm guitarist Tony Martin.
Powell died in a car crash in April 1998. He lost control of his car, apparently due to bad weather, on the M4 Motorway towards Bristol, and slammed into the divider of the motorway. Prior to his death, he had to be sidelined from a tour with Yngwie Malmsteen due to a foot injury.
Drew Mers is a consultant to Empire Rehearsal Studios, which rents aspiring bands, musicians and drummers rehearsal studios in Long Island City, Queens, New York - about 10 minutes from midtown Manhattan and consultant to City Closet Storage, one of the largest self storage companies in New York and New Jersey.
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