Remembering Late Vail Musician Rod Powell
Vail legend Rod Powell passed away this past Saturday from complications of the Coronavirus, COPD, and diabetes, he was 64.
Apres-ski musicians are something that is unique to ski towns, and if you've walked down Bridge Street in Vail after a long day of hitting the slopes, you know what I'm talking about. They typically play in bars and restaurants, they play a lot of familiar songs, sometimes even requests, and serve as a nice relaxing form of entertainment following a long day on the mountain. And Rod Powell was not only perhaps the most well known in Vail, but one of the best.
Powell was known for his kindness, his personality, and his sheer talent. In fact, Powell was such a talented musician that in his lifetime he jammed with big-name national acts such as The Doobie Brothers and Stephen Stills.
As a teenager growing up in Eagle, my friends and I spent a lot of time in Vail, and I certainly remember seeing Rod around. In fact, if my memory serves me correctly, I once asked him to play something ridiculous, it may have been Metallica, and he was very polite in declining the request from that punk kid.
I spoke to fellow apres-ski performer and Powell's best friend Shannon Tanner, who described him as bubbly, always smiling and "a guy who would always give you the shirt off of his back and never met a stranger."
Tanner went on to tell me the story of how the two met, as an 18-year-old brand new to town while playing his first local show at favorite Vail pizza spot 'Vendetta's.' Powell shook the young Tanner's hand welcoming him to Vail, and for the past 29 years had welcomed Tanner and countless other musicians onto his own stage to jam with him.
Rod Powell was certainly a staple of the town of Vail, and will certainly be missed.