Pat Travers Bassist Peter ‘Mars’ Cowling Dies
Former Pat Travers Band bassist Peter “Mars” Cowling has died, colleagues have reported. He was 72.
He spent two stints with the Canadian guitarist, from 1976-1982 and then again from 1989-1993. Cowling appeared on a total of 10 Travers studio albums, from his self-titled 1976 debut to 1993’s Blues Tracks.
Born in England in 1946, Cowling started his career in cover bands before moving through the ranks of a number of other British groups. He was a co-founding member of the Pat Travers Band and performed on their most popular songs, “Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights)” and “Snortin’ Whiskey.”
You can watch him perform “Hooked on Music” below from a German TV show in 1976, when the band's lineup included future Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain.
“The world has lost a one-of-a-kind person in Mars Peter Cowling,” said Travers’ drummer Sandy Gennaro in a Facebook tribute. “He was my rhythm section partner, SCUBA partner (‘let's get wet!’) and most of all a trusted friend (‘a brudda from anotha mudda’). He taught me so much musically and personally. He was funny, considerate and caring beneath that British wit. He will be missed by all he crossed paths with. I'm fortunate to have had his close friendship for 38 years. He will NOT be forgotten.”
Another tribute came from Foghat, who tweeted, “Our thoughts are with the family of Mars Peter Cowling ... what an incredible bassist!”
Quiet Riot bass player Chuck Wright called Cowling “underrated” and added, “Learning his bass parts in ‘Snortin' Whisky’ opened my eyes.” He also quoted another former Travers bassist, Rodney O’Quinn, as saying, “His Brit-wit and slick, growling p-bass will be forever remembered by those that loved, knew and admired him and his work.”