7 January 2016 by RobinJenkins | Posted: January 07, 2016
Check out GALLERY
Hundreds see Queen guitarist Brian May honour drummer Cozy Powell in Cirencester
Left to right: Neil Murray, Tony Iommi, Suzi Quatro, Brian May and Bernie Marsden. S
ome of the biggest names in rock paid tribute to Cirencester drummer Cozy Powell in his home town. The normally sedate Cotswold town was buzzing today as Queen guitarist Brian May unveiled a plaque in Cozy’s honour on the outside wall of the Corn Hall.
It had been put there by Cirencester Civic Society to mark the fact that the former Black Sabbath, Rainbow and Whitesnake rhythm-keeper was from the town and performed in the hall.
Watched by about 500 people, Brian said Cozy had supported him in his musical career before his death nearly 18 years ago. He told the crowd: “Thanks for being here. It’s a very happy occasion. He was a son of Cirencester and he was a brilliant innovative world-beating drummer.” Brian, standing out from the crowd with his big curly grey hair, paid tribute to Cozy’s skills, saying: “He was one of the world’s greatest drummers and musicians. We have the great honour of unveiling this.”
There were cheers as Brian and Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi jointly pulled the cord to draw back a curtain covering the plaque. Then there was laughter as the wooden base the curtain was on collapsed. It was not the only thing to go wrong during the ceremony. A public address system failed to broadcast the words of Brian and other rock legends present at a volume that most people could hear.
But some heard American singer-songwriter Suzi Quatro say she remembered touring with Cozy and how he played, and lost, a lot of poker games. She said she had known him since 1970 and added: “God bless the drummers. He was one of the good ones.” Tony Iommi said: “It was great to play with him. This is a great moment.”
Civic Society chairman Geoffrey Adams said it was the first time his organisation had put up a plaque for anything than other than a building. He added: “It might be a precedent for us to celebrate the famous sons and daughters of Cirencester in the future.”
Cozy had a huge passion for fast cars and died in a car crash on the M4 near Bristol in April 1998, aged 50.
The mayor of Cirencester, Councillor Joe Harris, backed a campaign to get the town to honour Cozy, who hailed from the nearby village of Chesterton. He was lobbied by heavy metal rockers from all over the world after Italian music fan Rossella Amadori started an online petition to get Cirencester to better remember its drumming superstar back in 2014.