R.I.P. Bruce Rowland (Joe Cocker, Fairport Convention drummer) 1941-2015 - Noise11.com
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Bruce Rowland

R.I.P. Bruce Rowland (Joe Cocker, Fairport Convention drummer) 1941-2015

by Paul Cashmere on July 1, 2015

in News

Bruce Rowland, the one-time drummer for Joe Cocker and Fairport Convention, has died at age 74 after a battle with cancer.

Rowland was a member of Joe Cocker’s The Grease Band and played with Cocker at Woodstock and on the Cocker classic ‘Delta Lady’ as well as Cocker’s versions of ‘Bird On A Wire’, ‘She Came In Through The bathroom Window’ and ‘Hitchcock Railway’.

In 1975 he joined Fairport Convention and contributed to the band’s albums throughout the 70s.

In a statement published at the official Fairport Convention website Dave Pegg wrote, “Bruce Rowland was a lovely man and a great drummer. He saved the Rising for the Moon album recording sessions by joining us after Dave Mattacks left. His playing and “feel” for music was superb.

“His track record is remarkable. Playing at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo with The Guards band, teaching a young Phil Collins the drums, doing the recording sessions for “Jesus Christ Superstar” – for a fixed fee rather than accepting a royalty (something he always regretted) – and playing at Woodstock with Joe Cocker. Helping Ronnie Lane out on his circus tour and his great work with Fairport .

“When we split up in ’79 he married Birgitte Swarbrick and they moved to Denmark.

“For the last 25 years he and his partner Barbara have lived in Devon. They were married at Rowcroft Hospice in Torquay soon after he moved there suffering from cancer.

“I spoke to him on the phone a couple of weeks ago when I heard that he was terminally ill and I was scared to make the call. Bruce said – “No tears Peggy. I’ve had a great life and have wonderful memories. This hospice is the best hotel I have ever stayed in and the staff are wonderful. No tears”.

“We will miss you Bruce.”


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