.

Cozy Powell Dies In Car Crash

April 8, 1998 12:00 AM ET

A veteran of the British hard rock scene, drummer Cozy (Collin) Powell died Sunday night in a high speed car crash near Bristol, England. He was 50.

Born Dec. 29, 1947, Powell reportedly slammed his Saab into a crash barrier on Bristol's M4 while driving in excess of 90 mph Sunday night. Powell owned a Ferrari and once briefly quit the music business to pursue an auto racing career.

The one-time backbone for such illustrious bands and artists as Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Jeff Beck, Brian May, Whitesnake, Michael Schenker and Peter Green, Powell was one of England's most celebrated and prolific musicians. Shortly before the accident, Polydor Records in England released Best of Cozy Powell, and former Rainbow members Ronnie James Dio and Ritchie Blackmore had begun planning a reunion album with the drummer. That album would have been No. 48 for Powell.

"Musically, he was one of the best drummers we've ever had in this country," producer Mickey Most told the London Times. "He was a great guy and always had a perfect disposition. We had a lot of laughs and he was great fun."

On sabbatical at the time of the accident, Powell recently backed out of a Yngwie Malmsteen tour due to a minor motorcycle accident.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com