Andy Powell

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For other people of the same name, see Andrew Powell (disambiguation).
Andy Powell
Wishbone Ash 2015 - 03.jpg
Powell on stage with Wishbone Ash in May 2015
Background information
Birth name Andrew Powell
Born (1950-02-19) 19 February 1950 (age 66)
Stepney, London, England
Genres Rock, hard rock, progressive rock, art rock
Occupation(s) Singer–songwriter, musician
Instruments Guitar, vocals
Years active 1963–present
Labels MCA, AVM, Neat, IRS, Permanent, Talking Elephant
Associated acts Wishbone Ash
Notable instruments
Gibson Flying V
Chilcott Angel V
Fender Telecaster

Andy Powell (born Andrew Powell, 19 February 1950, Stepney, London[1]) is an English guitarist and songwriter, and a founding member of the British band Wishbone Ash, known for their innovative use of twin lead guitars. He is named in discussions of the most influential guitarists in rock music history, often alongside other Wishbone Ash guitarists including Ted Turner and Laurie Wisefield.[2][3] Powell and Turner were acknowledged as two of the ten most important guitarists in rock history (Traffic magazine 1989).[verification needed]

Early life and career[edit]

Although born in the East End of London, Powell grew up in the new town of Hemel Hempstead, some 25 miles (40 km) north-east of London. He first played guitar at the age of 11, inspired by rock and beat bands such as The Shadows.[1] Powell, unable to muster funds to buy a brand-new guitar, made a Les Paul-style guitar himself, and began to play in London-based bands such as The Dekois and The Sugar Band.

Wishbone Ash[edit]

In 1969, Powell answered a Melody Maker classified in which Martin Turner and Steve Upton advertised for a guitar player. Being unable to choose between Powell and another applicant (Ted Turner), Wishbone Ash was formed with two lead guitarists. The band went on to find considerable worldwide success, being famed for their pioneering use of twin lead guitars – inspiring the likes of Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden and Metallica.

Other appearances[edit]

Powell has recorded numerous sessions for other artists, including George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Kashif, Cilla Black, Stewart Copeland and Renaissance.

In 1988, Powell contributed to Miles Copeland III's Night of the Guitar project alongside Ted Turner, touring extensively with artists such as Randy California, Jan Akkerman, Steve Howe, Steve Hunter, Robby Krieger, Leslie West and Alvin Lee.

Personal life[edit]

Powell left England around 1980 as a "tax exile", and since then has mainly lived in Connecticut with his wife Pauline.[4][5]

In 2016 he released his autobiography, entitled Eyes Wide Open: True Tales of a Wishbone Ash Warrior.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Andy Powell (biography)". Wishbone Ash. 2008. Retrieved 8 November 2008. 
  2. ^ Pete Prown; Harvey P. Newquist (1997). Legends of Rock Guitar: The Essential Reference of Rock's Greatest Guitarists. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 88. ISBN 978-0-7935-4042-6. 
  3. ^ Paul Fowles; Graham Wade (23 February 2012). Concise History of Rock Music. Mel Bay Publications. p. 144. ISBN 978-1-61911-016-8. 
  4. ^ "Powell Still Rocking Strong", The Mercury (South Africa), July 3, 2015  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
  5. ^ Eric Danton, "A Band Older Than Its Biggest Fans", Hartford Courant, April 20, 2006  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
  6. ^ Dave Thompson, "Eyes Wide Open: True Tales of a Wishbone Ash Warrior" (review), Goldmine, February 1, 2016  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).

External links[edit]