Cozy Born in 1947 on December 29th as Colin Powell, but
changed his name to Cozy after jazz drummer Cozy Cole.
He started out as a drummer playing the German club circuit
with The Sorcerors in 1965. In 1968 he returned to England
and played in several small bands, but his first real break
was with the Jeff Beck Group in 1970. Being the only drummer
turning up to audition who brought his own kit and then
playing it in the driving, aggressive but imaginative style
he has made his own, he convinced Jeff to take him on.
Unfortunately it took couple of years for the rest of the
band to be recruited during which time he and Jeff recorded
an album with session musicians, which never got released,
and Cozy himself started doing session work for other
musicians and bands such as Hot Chocolate, Donovan and Suzi
In December 1973 he released a solo track, "Dance with the
Devil" which made an impact in the charts. He released a
couple of other singles and continued his session work but
the life style was getting him down so he decided to quit
the music business. He took up Formula Three motor racing
for Hitachi, though he kept a foot in the music world with a
two bands - Beast (which later became Bedlam) and later his
own band Cozy Powell's Hammer.
In September 1975 he got a call from Ritchie Blackmore
asking him if he wanted the job as Rainbow's new drummer. He
stayed with Rainbow for three albums. Rainbow Rising and
Long Live Rock and Roll with Ronnie James Dio on vocals were
toured extensively. Eventually Dio seemed to tire of the
band and the line up changed. Down to Earth was released
with Graham Bonnet on vocals but when it started to tour he
was unable to keep his voice in good form. In addition
Blackmore's insistence that they become more commercial and
poppy and increasing unprofessionalism towards the audience
made Cozy decide it was time to look elsewhere for a band.
He played with Gary Moore for a while in spare moments and
then eventually quit Rainbow in August 1980 after the
Monsters of Rock concert in Donnington.
After recording a solo album, Over The Top, with Jack Bruce
and Gary Moore he joined the Michael Schenker Group. In his
spare time away from the group he recorded a second album,
Things with the MSG started off well but before Michael
Schenker was losing control. In the middle of it all Cozy
was approached by Robert Plant who was thinking of reforming
Led Zeppelin. His strict contract with MSG prevented him
from taking the opportunity and he had to leave the project.
Eventually Cozy decided that enough was enough and quit the
band to a great deal of criticism from fans.
A drummer of Cozy's class doesn't stay silent for long and
he recorded another solo album, Octopuss.
He soon found himself in Coverdale's blues-rock band,
Whitesnake. Whitesnake was a very different experience to
earlier bands, being a vocalist's band. Much more feel was
needed and the rhythms were simpler. Cozy even ditched his
trademark double bass drums for one album, Slide It In,
although he took them on the tour afterwards.
Eventually the clash of personalities claimed yet another
band as Coverdale and Powell fell out over the deal that was
destined to bring the band to the US.
The Drums Are Back
Drummer Cozy (Collin) Powell died in a car accident near
Bristol, England on April 5th, 1998.