Happy Birthday To The Late Great Cozy Powell

(Gibson) One of the most prolific and influential drummers in rock history, Cozy Powell was born on this day in 1947. Born Colin Flooks in Cirencester, England (90 or so miles northwest of London), Powell got his first kit at the age of 12 and never looked back. He started out playing in the school orchestra (an element that always remained in his approach to the kit) but eventually, like the majority of musicians from his generation, moved on to rock.

"I taught myself to play," he once recalled in an interview. "I would go to see all the other drummers who played in the circuit. I would go out to all the different clubs and watch every one of them because everybody, good or bad, has something to offer. Another drummer might do some little lick that is really good, and so I took everybody else's ideas."

Indeed, Powell was a sponge, constantly studying everyone from Buddy Rich and Louie Bellson to local club drummers. Eventually, he developed his own thunderous style with the precision of the great jazz players but a power that foreshadowed the great rock drummers of the '70s. His first group was a cover band called The Corals, with whom he had already carved out a spotlight for himself with a signature drum solo and an adopted nickname, Cozy (after jazz drummer Cozy Cole), by the ripe old age of 15. more on this story

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