Colin Allen

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Colin Allen
Stone the Crows,
Kralingen Music Festival 1970
Background information
Born (1938-05-09) 9 May 1938 (age 81)
Bournemouth, Hampshire (now Dorset), England
InstrumentsDrums, percussion
Years active1958–2012
Associated actsZoot Money's Big Roll Band
Dantalian's Chariot
John Mayall's Bluesbreakers
Mick Taylor
Bob Dylan
Stone The Crows
Rod Stewart
The British Blues Quintet
Brian Joseph Friel

Colin Eric Allen (born 9 May 1938, Bournemouth, Hampshire (now in Dorset), England) is an English blues drummer and songwriter.


Focus (1974): Jan Akkerman, Bert Ruiter, Thijs van Leer en Colin Allen

Allen spent the first ten years of his adult life working in aircraft engineering. He became interested in jazz at the age of 16 which led him taking up drums at the age of 18. He eventually studied drumming with local drummer Jack Horwood for two years. Later he studied for a short period with legendary US. jazz drummer Philly Joe Jones. His first ever stage performance was in a skiffle contest at a local cinema. He then went on to play with local jazz musicians in the Bournemouth area. During 1963 Allen became a member of Zoot Money's Big Roll Band, which also included Andy Summers (later of The Police)[1] and up to a few years ago still played the occasional gig at The Bull's Head, Barnes, with the 'Big Roll Band' when visiting London. Allen moved to London on 1 January 1964, with Andy Summers. He has played drums for many US and UK musicians including Bob Dylan, John Lee Hooker, Sonny Boy Williamson, Memphis Slim, Solomon Burke, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Mick Taylor, Focus, Donovan, Stone The Crows, Georgie Fame, Brian Joseph Friel,[2] and The British Blues Quintet with keyboardist Zoot Money, bassist Colin Hodgkinson and vocalist Maggie Bell. In 1974 he joined the Dutch band Focus. He played drums on the album Hamburger concerto.

Personal life[edit]

Allen is married with one daughter. He has lived in Stockholm, Sweden since 1985, where he has played with many Swedish artistes & for several years was a member of one of the best known bands called Totta's Blues Band. He retired from playing in 2012 after a professional career of almost fifty years.


Allen started writing lyrics when a member of Stone the Crows. He has also co-written songs which have been recorded by artists including Paul McCartney’s Wings (with music by Jimmy McCulloch), Fleetwood Mac, Mick Taylor and Mick Ronson. When co-writing he has mostly worked as a lyricist, as in Taylor's "Alabama", from his solo debut Mick Taylor (1979). To date about sixty songs he co-wrote have been recorded.


  1. ^ Zoot Money Archived 11 October 2003 at the Wayback Machine Zoot
  2. ^ Colin Allen at Allmusic

Further reading[edit]

  • Allen, Colin (2018). From Bournemouth to Beverly Hills: Tales of a Tub-Thumper. Amazon. ISBN 978-91-639-7250-8.

External links[edit]