More sad news to report today: Peter “Mars” Cowling has passed away. He was 72 years old. Fellow bassist Rodney O’Quinn helped break the news on his Facebook page.
“On behalf of The Cowling/Clark Family, with a heavy heart, the music world, and especially the bass community has lost another great one,” he wrote. “Peter “Mars” Cowling, best known as the original bassist for the Pat Travers Band, was diagnosed in February with a aggressive form of Leukemia. Peter passed away yesterday, March 20, 2018. His Brit-wit and slick, growling P-Bass will be forever remembered, by those that loved, knew and admired him and his work.”
Cowling was an English bassist who got his start in a band called The Syndicate in 1962. He went on to play in Gnidrolog and the Flying Hat Band before becoming the original bassist for the Pat Travers Band. He recorded eight albums with the guitarist between 1976 and 1982, including Crash and Burn featuring the hit “Snortin’ Whiskey”. Cowling would leave the band to form Gypsy Queen, only to return to Travers for another stint from 1989 to 1993 and throughout more recent years.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Peter “Mars” Cowling.