Jimmy Copley

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James "Jimmy" Copley
Born29 December 1953[1]
London, England
Died13 May 2017(2017-05-13) (aged 63)
Bristol, England
ChildrenJack Copley (son) Johnny Copley (son) Jerome Alexandre (son)

James Frank 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.

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]


According to University Hospital Bristol, Copley had been diagnosed with leukemia in 2015 and relapsed following a bone marrow transplant. He opted to discontinue chemotherapy. In Copley's final days, his hospital room was transformed into a temporary recording studio so that he and friends could record an EP to benefit the Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre and Royal United Hospital, in Bristol.[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 15 May 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 15 September 2012.
  5. ^ "Artist Roster". Vic Firth. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  6. ^ "Drummer Jimmy Copley Dies". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 14 October 2017.