“His death has been a great shock. He will always remain with us; his friendship always valued, and his music immortalized.”
Lee Hutchings, a British independent film director, has announced plans for a documentary about epic and ever popular drummer Cozy Powell (real name being Colin Trevor Powell with the name “Cozy” coming from schoolmates who got it from jazz drummer “Cozy Cole”) entitled Dance With The Devil. The projected release date is sometime in 2016 and the film will have a run time of 120 minutes.
Powell was a high profile player who unfortunately died in 1998 at the young age of 50. During his career Cozy played with such well known artists as Jeff Beck, Gary Moore, Rainbow, Suzi Quatro, Michael Schenker (MSG), Whitesnake, Black Sabbath–to name a few–and he even had a stint in Emerson, Lake, and Powell. In fact, Powell has appeared on more than 60 albums.
Fans of Powell–and there were many–were stunned to learn that Cozy died doing one of things he loved most–racing cars. On April 5, 1998, Powell was driving his Saab 9000 at a reported 104 m.p.h. when he lost control of the vehicle on the M4 Motorway near Bristol, England. (The M4 runs between London and South Wales). Powell’s car crashed and he was ejected through the windshield. However, when you consider the weather conditions were not good, Powell had been drinking and he was talking on his cellphone and also not wearing his seat belt at the time, it is not surprising that something bad was about to happen to Powell on that fateful day. Surely, Powell’s death was a major loss for the music world when one considers how in demand Cozy in fact was.
Considering the tragedy that suddenly took Cozy and his great career accomplishments, we think that a documentary about Cozy Powell’s life and career is certainly a worthwhile project.
Check out this clip from Hutchings during which he talks about the making of this film:
There are also some interesting teasers which can be found on the film’s website like this one from Suzi Quatro:
Speaking for myself, I always enjoyed Cozy Powell’s playing immensely. Granted, Cozy was not the most technical drummer and, by way of example, if one compares the difference in how Simon Phillips played on MSG’s debut album entitled The Michael Schenker Group (1980) versus how Powell played many of these same tracks just one year later on the live album entitled The Michael Schenker Group–One Night At Budokan, the difference in technical skill is apparent. However, that’s not what Cozy Powell was about. Indeed, Powell was not formally trained and he did not take a lesson in his life.
However, Powell was extremely clean in his playing. Whether it was his double bass work or snare work; Powell was not sloppy. He was also deliberate and unusually sharp and an excellent time keeper. Additionally, Powell had superior sound and he had a powerful feeling to his playing. Complimenting all that was Cozy’s reputation of being no-nonsense as well as his having a personality that made him special. Indeed, Cozy’s reputation was one of getting the job done and one of my favorite Powell stories comes from none other than Keith Emerson. The story goes like this:
“I remember Cozy being in my barn in Sussex,” says Emerson. “He set up his impressive drum rig, then realized he had no drumsticks! He considered using some fallen branches from by orchard until a local farmer drove into town to get some proper ones. They weren’t the correct weight but were sufficient when he held then upside down using the fat end. The he’d do his drum solo and it would be like World War III had broken out.”
To hear other well known artists talk about Cozy further solidifies just how well respected and loved he was.
“Cozy Powell was a classic rocker. The best there was.”
“The musical world has lost a legend, and I’ve lost a friend. Cozy’s brilliance as a drummer was evident to everyone who heard him perform, but it will always be his irrepressible spirit and appetite for life that those of us fortunate enough to have known him intimately will remember.”
Ronnie James Dio
When you consider all there is which made up the life and career of Cozy Powell, the need for a documentary about this artist is clear. We here at Beato’s Blog anxiously look forward to the release of this film. Rock on Cozy.