Colin Eric Allen (bornMay 9, 1938 , Bournemouth, Hampshire (now in Dorset), England) is an English blues drummer and songwriter.
Allen spent the first ten years of his adult life working in aircraft engineering. He became interested in jazz at the age of 16 which led him taking up drums at the age of 18. He eventually studied drumming with local drummer Jack Horwood for two years. Later he studied for a short period with legendary US. jazz drummer Philly Joe Jones. His first ever stage performance was in a skiffle contest at a local cinema. He then went on to play with local jazz musicians in the Bournemouth area. During 1963 Allen became a member of Zoot Money's Big Roll Band, which also included Andy Summers (later of The Police) and up to a few years ago still played the occasional gig at the Bullshead, in Barnes, with the 'Big Roll Band' when visiting London. Allen moved to London on 1 January 1964 with Andy Summers.
He has played drums for many US and UK musicians including Bob Dylan, John Lee Hooker, Sonny Boy Williamson, Memphis Slim, Solomon Burke, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Mick Taylor, Focus (1974–1975), Donovan, Stone The Crows, Georgie Fame, Brian Joseph Friel, and The British Blues Quintet with keyboardist Zoot Money, bassist Colin Hodgkinson and vocalist Maggie Bell. Colin Allen is married to Marianne & has a daughter Mia. He has lived in Stockholm, Sweden since 1985 where he has played with many Swedish artistes & for several years was a member of one of the best known bands called Totta's Blues Band. He retired from playing in 2012 after a professional career of almost fifty years.
Allen started writing lyrics when a member of Stone the Crows. He has also co-written songs which have been recorded by artists including Paul McCartney’s Wings (with music by Jimmy McCulloch), Fleetwood Mac, Mick Taylor and Mick Ronson. When co-writing he has mostly worked as a lyricist, as in Taylor's Alabama, from his solo debut Mick Taylor (1979). To date about sixty songs he co-wrote have been recorded.