Jimmy Copley

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James "Jimmy" Copley
Born 29 December 1953[1]
London, England, UK
Died 13 May 2017(2017-05-13) (aged 63)
Bristol, England
Occupation Musician

James Copley (29 December 1953 – 13 May 2017) was an English rock drummer.

Copley was largely a session musician[2] who has worked with Jeff Beck,[3] Graham Parker, Upp, Paul Young, Magnum, Roger Glover, Ian Gillan and Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple, Go West, Killing Joke, Tears for Fears, Seal, Tony Iommi and Paul Rodgers.[2] Copley was the drummer with Manfred Mann's Earth Band since 2007.

In 2008, Copley released his first solo album, Slap My Hand. Featuring tremendous performances from Jeff Beck, Pino Palladino, Peter Cox, Micky Moody, Ian Jennings, Dino Baptiste, Bernie Marsden, Steve Evans, Neil Murray, Char, Paul Jackson, Koji, Chris White, Mark Stanway and Mo Birch.

Copley was a master of the Open-handed drumming technique. The method is without crossing the hands when playing the hi-hat (or ride-cymbal) and snare drum simultaneously as opposed to the more traditional way of playing drums which features crossed hands as the basic playing position. This allows players to play more freely and also to incorporate more melodic motifs to songs.

Copley had been a long time Tama drums endorser. He has used Superstar, Granstar, Artstar II and Starclassic drums throughout the years.[4] Another long time association is with Zildjian Cymbals. Copley also used Vic Firth drumsticks.[5] Copley died on 13 May 2017 of leukemia.[6]

Selected discography[edit]


  • Upp (1975)
  • This Way Upp (1976)

Tears For Fears[edit]

Stone Free - Jimi Hendrix Tribute[edit]

  • Stone Free - Jimi Hendrix Tribute (1993)

Curt Smith[edit]

Martin Page[edit]


Paul Rodgers[edit]


Tony Iommi[edit]

Go West[edit]

  • The Best Of Go West - Live at the NEC (2001)


  • Princess Alice and the Broken Arrow
  • Livin' The Dream (2005 Live DVD)

Jimmy Copley[edit]

  • Slap My Hand (2008)


  1. ^ "Epilogue: Personal Facts" (in German). Magnum. Retrieved 5 June 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Manfred Mann's Earth Band - Band Members (Jimmy Copley)". Platform-end.co.uk. Retrieved May 15, 2017. 
  3. ^ Carson, Annette (2001). Jeff Beck: Crazy Fingers. San Francisco, CA: Backbeat Books. p. Page 226. ISBN 0-87930-632-7. 
  4. ^ "Tama Drums: Jimmy Copley". Tama. Retrieved September 15, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Artist Roster". Vic Firth. Retrieved May 15, 2017. 
  6. ^ Filcman, Debra (May 14, 2017). "Drummer Jimmy Copley Dies". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved May 15, 2017.