Mars Cowling

I've never met a dedicated bassist who did not hold the late Peter "Mars" Cowling in the absolute highest regard.

Go figure why the prodigious late-1970s early-1980s version of the Pat Travers Band were not afforded the widespread attention they so richly deserved as they were all stellar instrumentalists and spirited performers.

Their enigmatic, tight trouser-ed, well coiffed British bassist Mars Cowling was a nimble fingered virtuoso who punctuated Travers’ brazen motifs and Tommy Aldridge’s frenetic rhythms with a blinding array of double-stops, slaps, chords, and harmonies galore – all fashionably rendered from his white Fender Precision, and often filtered through a flange / chorus / phaser effect.

It took a few encounters over the years for Mars to warm up to me - he was a cautious cat who did not suffer fools gladly and who chose his words carefully. I'm glad our last meeting in a Hollywood Fla. venue to hear our mutual friends Stan Waldman and Frank Carmelitano was a grand time - rife with stories, anecdotes, and laughter. 

He agreed to talk on the record with Know Your Bass Player - but we never got the chance. Mars struck me as the kind of bassist who let his playing do the talking - as the masters always do. Godspeed Mars Cowling!

Coda: While a member of Eddie Levine and the Escorts, Pete had a proclivity to continually consume Mars candy bars - hence Mike Mills, a singer with The Nighthawks, bestowed the infamous nickname "Mars" which stuck with Mr. Cowling throughout his career and personal life!    

 

 Eddlie Levine and the Escorts at the Mecca Ballroom in Grimsby 1963 - L to R: bassist Mars Cowling, singer Eddie Levine, lead guitarist "Memphis," drummer Geoff Knight, and "Migs" on second lead guitar.  

Eddlie Levine and the Escorts at the Mecca Ballroom in Grimsby 1963 - L to R: bassist Mars Cowling, singer Eddie Levine, lead guitarist "Memphis," drummer Geoff Knight, and "Migs" on second lead guitar.  

 Tim Ravenna, Stan Waldman, Frank Carmelitano, Tom Semioli, Mars Cowling

Tim Ravenna, Stan Waldman, Frank Carmelitano, Tom Semioli, Mars Cowling

GO FOR WHAT YOU KNOW 2.jpg