On This Day (January 9)…Cozy Powell & Friends at the Paris Theater

Cozy Powell, Don Airey, Max Middleton, Clem Clempson, and Jack Bruce performed on this day in 1980 at the Paris Theater in London.

Well-described as a “glittering array of talent”, the quintet performed a handful of songs off Powell’s recent album, on which all of them appeared. They also performed “Tickets to Water Falls” off Jack Bruce’s solo album Songs for a Tailor.

This concert came, for Cozy Powell and Don Airey, in a short lull between touring with Rainbow. They were at the time on the Down to Earth Tour, which would prove to be Powell’s last with the group. They had gotten off the road in mid-December and would return to the tour less than two weeks after this concert.

Cover for Over the Top. Retrieved from here.

The concert was recorded for BBC radio broadcast. It has never been officially released and is quite common online. I review it here.

Bootleg cover. Retrieved from here.

The Venue

The venue at which they performed, the Paris Theater (also called Paris Studios), was a BBC property. It began life prior to its acquiring by the BBC as a French-language cinema designed by Robert Cromie, opening in April of 1939. It began operation as a BBC recording studio in 1946.

Theater exterior. Retrieved from here.

In its heyday, it was a favorite to record both comedy programs and pop groups. Notable acts recorded there included Deep Purple, David Bowie, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Joni Mitchell. The capacity was just under 400, making it a pleasantly intimate venue for shows. It was used by the BBC until 1995, at which time it became obsolete and was closed with a special commemorative concert. The property was finally converted into an LA fitness gym in the mid-2000s.

The Venue

  • Edit on 2021-01-09: Optimized for new site. Added information on Rainbow’s touring activities.

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