Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven & Hell with Black Sabbath - Tony Iommi, T.J. Lammers (2011)

Chapter 77. Cozy’s crash

In April 1998 I was in LA at the Sunset Marquis hotel when I got a call from Ralph. He said: ‘I’m really sorry to tell you that Cozy has been killed in a car crash.’

It was a real shock. I was just stunned.

All the years I knew Cozy, he was a bit of a wild character. I’ve been with him in the car a few times and he was a very good driver, but he went so fast I was terrified. He used to drive around the track in his old Ferrari, because he liked speed. He also had a couple of big motorbikes and he really tore ass on those things. When we recorded Headless Cross with Cozy at Woodcray back in 1988, he’d come down on his bike and sometimes, when he’d had a right few drinks, I’d take his keys off him and hide them so that he couldn’t ride home. He’d go: ‘Where’s my keys?’

‘You’re not going to drive home like that!’

‘I’m all right, I’m all right.’

The old ‘I’m all right’ thing. But he’d have to stay.

They were fast Yamaha bikes and I thought, one of these days he’s going to come off one of them. I didn’t expect it in a car. And when I heard what happened, it was bloody awful.

Cozy was seeing this girl. She was married but separated, or separating, and she had problems with her husband. Cozy was at home and he’d had a few drinks, as he tended to, and she called him all upset and said: ‘Can you come over quick?’

Cozy lived about thirty or forty miles away from her. He flew down the motorway in his Saab, quite a quick car. While he was driving towards her she phoned him up. ‘Where are you?’

‘I’m on my way.’

While they were on the phone, she heard him go: ‘Oh, shit!’

And the next thing: bang!

I think it was raining at the time. Cozy wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. He hit something and went straight through the windscreen. What a complete and utter waste of such a talented musician and good mate.