Don Powell

Donald George Powell, (born 10 September 1946, Bilston, Staffordshire, England) is a drummer who founded the English
glam rock group, Slade.


Don Powell


As a child Powell joined the Boy Scouts where he became interested in the drums after being asked to join the band on a Sunday morning parade. After Etheridge Secondary Modern School, he studied Metallurgy at Wednesbury Technical College. Powell then worked as a metallurgist in a small foundry before turning professional as a drummer.

Powell became a member of The Vendors, a band that guitarist Dave Hill later joined. The Vendors later became the N'Betweens and bass guitarist / keyboard player / violinist / guitarist Jim Lea got in at an audition. Powell then spotted Noddy Holder playing with Steve Brett & The Mavericks and he and Hill got Holder to join the N'Betweens. They regrouped as Ambrose Slade, changed the name to Slade and the success began.

Powell was the wit of the group and was considered by Slade's fans to be one of rock's best drummers. He co-wrote a number of Slade's earlier songs, mainly with Lea. Many of them can be found on the 1970 Slade album Play it Loud. He also co-wrote one of Slade's Top 10 hits "Look Wot You Dun" with Holder and Lea in 1972, and made the breathing noises in the background of the song.

On 4 July 1973, when Slade were number one in the UK Singles Chart with "Skweeze Me Pleeze Me", Powell was badly injured in a serious car crash in Wolverhampton, in which his 20-year-old girlfriend Angela was killed. He broke both of his ankles and five of his ribs. Surgeons had to drill into his skull to ease the internal pressure and he was unconscious for six days but he came round and eventually pulled through, finding the best therapy to be work.

By mid-August Powell was back recording with the group. When the Top 5 hit "My Friend Stan" was recorded, Powell was still walking with the aid of a stick and had to be lifted onto his drum-kit.

The accident left Powell with no senses of taste and smell, and to this day he has severe problems with his short-term memory, whilst his long-term memory has remained unaffected.

When Slade split up in 1991 Don Powell owned and operated an antique import / export company before he reconvened the band
as Slade II in 1993 with Dave Hill. He has remained active with various line-ups to this day and has released the albums Keep on
Rockin' and Cum On Let's Party!. The name of the band was shortened back to Slade in 1997. In 2000 Powell had a small cameo
role in the BBC TV version of Lorna Doone.

Powell has been married twice and for a number of years he lived in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, England. In 2004 he moved to
Silkeborg, Denmark where he now lives with his Danish girlfriend.

In December 2005, Powell appeared in the Channel 4 TV documentary 'Bring Back...The Christmas Number One'.

Don Powell is working on his biography with Lise Lyng Falkenberg.

Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia