Gloucestershire

Rock legends remember Cozy Powell as blue plaque unveiled

Neil Murray, Tony Iommi, Suzi Quatro, Brian May & Bernie Marsden
Image caption Rock legends descended on Cirencester for the unveiling

Rock stars gathered in a Cotswolds town for the unveiling of a blue plaque to local-boy-turned drummer Cozy Powell.

Cozy, who played with acts including Rainbow, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath and The Jeff Beck Group, died in a car crash on the M4 in 1998, aged 50.

Queen guitarist Brian May unveiled the plaque in Cirencester, alongside Suzi Quatro, Tony Iommi, Neil Murray and Bernie Marsden.

Mr May said his friend was "one of the world's most exciting drummers ever".

Image caption Cozy Powell played with numerous rock groups in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

"Cozy really helped to define the whole genre of rock drumming as we know it today. He's the heavy drummer template," he said.

"Cozy was always a West Country boy... he never lost his way of speaking and he never lost his attachment to the land."

Born in Cirencester, Cozy also performed in the town with The Corals in the 1960s. He had three Top 20 hits in 1973 - charting number three under his own name with Dance with the Devil.

A petition calling for the blue plaque, put up on the Corn Hall in the town centre, attracted 3,500 signatures.

John Tiffney from Cirencester Civic Society said: "Until now the civic society, which is 50 years old this year, has only put up blue plaques to commemorate buildings... so this is the first ever plaque to commemorate a person.

"He wasn't called Cozy Powell in his youth - he was Colin Flukes, but one of his pals thought he'd be better off if they nicknamed him Cozy.

"But Cozy Flukes didn't quite have a ring to it so he changed it to Cozy Powell."

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