Poco's Paul Cotton Dishes About Rock's Greats From His Key West Home

Music vet and New Times scribe Lee Zimmerman shares stories of memorable rock 'n' roll encounters that took place locally. This week: Cotton comes to the Keys.


Rock stars of a certain age, like everyone else north of the Mason-Dixon Line, seem to have this intrinsic desire to migrate to Florida at a certain point in their lives. Indeed, we have quite a number of rockers residing in our midst at least part of the year -- Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffett, Eddie Money, and members of the Lovin' Spoonful, Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band included. Add to that number Paul Cotton, onetime member of the classic country-rock combo Poco, and writer of such trademark songs as "Heart of the Night," "Under the Gun," "Indian Summer," and "Bad Weather."

Although Cotton's made his home in Key West for the past ten years ("I actually followed Hurricane Wilma here by a few days... That was my welcome!" he says), those who reside just up the road may be unaware we have a genuine legend living in our midst. It ought to be pointed out that anyone with an interest in Americana would be well-advised to give kudos to Cotton and the other members of Poco, as they were one of the main bands that spearheaded that genre in the late '60s and early '70s, well before the term had been coined.

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Lee Zimmerman