Remembering.....PETER 'MARS' COWLING
Gentleman to All.......Friend to Many......Bass Legend
1946 - March 20, 2018
On Tuesday, March 21st at 11:12 am, I received several missed telephone calls from my brother-in-law, Gary. When Gary calls repeatedly without leaving a message, it usually means he has bad-news. I called him back and my instinct was right. "Craig, Pete died.” “Pete? I asked.” “Pete, Mars…Mars died." "What do you mean, Mars died?” "He died yesterday. I just found out from his girlfriend." This was a complete shock since I had just spoken to him about 2 1/2 weeks before, to get his input on an interview I am doing for one of his closest friends, not only in the music industry, but in life.
I asked Gary what happened. "Apparently, he had leukemia and, as always, he was very private and didn't want to worry or burden any of his friends with this."
Peter was a friend of Gary's, introduced to him several years ago through his close friend / professional drummer, Kevin Neal. Mars was one of Kevin's dearest friends and former bandmate.
Kevin Neal......"Mars is like my big-brother and a father figure. We first met when I was the drummer for Pat Travers, and let me tell you, we did not get along, we did not like each other at all. One day, I had enough with him and called him out, telling him I was going to kick his ass. We stepped outside, and I was really going to clock this guy when suddenly, he grabs me by the shoulders and plants a big kiss on my cheek. I was in shock. I learned a lot from him that day and so much more over the years. He is such a great guy and one of my closest life-long friends."
Gary Sheradsky.....Peter was one of a kind. Not just a great bassist, but a very kind, humble man with a great sense of humor. He was a loyal friend, one who would go the distance for you, a guy you could depend on. Peter was openly brash, funny, honest and a true friend. He loved the ocean and Victoria and his bulldog. He was extremely humble as a musician. He would "jam" with anyone. He simply loved playing. He was one of my favorite people in the world. I respected and admired his soul.
Abbe Davis (of Bannerelk)"To be in a room with Peter was to be with someone modest beyond what you would expect, because when you heard him play his bass, it was just amazing soul, rhythm and so innovative, naturally, without even thinking about it. But he would complain about his playing, saying that he was old and lost some of his ability, but it was clear that he still had amazing chops still, and knew what he was doing. He was humble to the core, caring, gave me a lot of good advice when I had only known him for just a few years, encouraged me to do my music, was supportive, always, and a true gentleman, someone who was unique and rare with his heart, always. Some people, when you meet them, are just born kind, and, that was Peter."
Personally, I had met Peter on maybe five separate occasions and found him to be extremely charming, a gentleman, witty and intelligent. I knew he had been the original bassist for Pat Travers and had a musical resume a mile long, but, despite all of his accolades, Peter was very humble and would rather discuss life and hear about yours, rather than his own.
I will not go on and on about Peter's professional career, (although I could spend hours writing about it) other than he is considered by most to be the "Godfather of Fusion Bass Playing," and musically, he was able to create the most magical and incredible P-Bass sounds that was appreciated, not only by his peers, but by his many loyal fans. Peter appeared on ten of Pat Travers' studio albums and his music and legacy will go on forever.
- RIP Mr. Cowling -