The Music Lounge

Death of Phil ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor

Death of legendary Motorhead drummer Phil Taylor…

It felt sad to read the news of ex-Motorhead drummer Phil Taylor who died at the age of sixty one today. Despite not having played with the band in any serious capacity since the mid 1980s he remains a stalwart favourite amongst not only Motorhead fans but drummers, rock and punk fans alike. Taylor was in a category all by himself, he was Keith Moon or John Bonham without the fame and fortune. He lived as hard as he played and from the late Seventies until the band’s heyday in 1981 with their number one live album, Taylor powered the band forward from the back with frenetic drumming fuelled by an equally frenetic lifestyle.

His off stage antics became legendary, he was a born wit but by his own admission, a loose canon always waiting to go off. Taylor’s image was half-punk, half-rocker and he wore it well. As the band changed so did Taylor and it became increasingly clear that he was no longer capable of ‘holding it down’ for a studio album and/or tour. He was an integral member of Motorhead Mark Two, to this day still regarded as the classic line-up with Lemmy Kilmister and Eddie Clarke.

I grew up listening to their music and seeing pictures of Taylor pulling faces in photo shoots and it was genuinely sad to see someone so full of life become increasingly frail looking in later years. Apart from the odd appearance with Motorhead on stage (but never playing) little was seen of him in public, Lemmy had commented on occasion that Taylor ‘was not in a good place’ and his death at sixty one suggests a life of living hard took its final toll.

Phil Taylor’s finest work can be heard on the band’s albums Bomber (1979) Overkill (1979) Ace of Spades (1980) No Sleep ‘Till Hammersmith (1981) and Iron Fist (1982)

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