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.