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
Spouse(s)Sachi Caroline Taylor (m. 1984-2014)
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] and 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] He was the drummer with Manfred Mann's Earth Band from 2007.

He was a master of the open-handed drumming technique. This method dispenses with crossing the hands when playing the hi-hat and snare drum simultaneously, as opposed to the more traditional way of playing drums which features crossed hands as the basic playing position.

Copley was a long-term Tama Drums endorser. He used Superstar, Granstar, Artstar II and Starclassic drums throughout the years.[4] Another long time association was with Zildjian Cymbals. He 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)

Killing Joke[edit]

Tears For Fears[edit]

Stone Free - Jimi Hendrix Tribute[edit]

  • Stone Free - Jimi Hendrix Tribute (1993)

Curt Smith[edit]

Martin Page[edit]

The Pretenders[edit]

Paul Rodgers[edit]


Tony Iommi[edit]

Go West[edit]

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


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.