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12th November 2015

phil taylor

Former Motörhead drummer Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor sadly passed away on Wednesday 11th November at the age of 61.

Phil's former Motörhead bandmate "Fast" Eddie Clarke posted the following tribute to his colleague: "My dear friend and brother passed away last night. He had been ill for sometime but that does not make it any easier when the time finally comes.

"I have known Phil since he was 21 and he was one hell of a character. Fortunately, we made some fantastic music together and I have many many fond memories of our time together.

"Rest in peace, Phil!"

Born on 21 September 1954, in Hasland, Chesterfield, England, Taylor replaced Motörhead's first drummer, Lucas Fox, during the recording of the band's first offfering, 'On Parole' in 1975. Lemmy says he chose him to play in Motörhead "because he had a car and could give us a lift back down to the studio, the drummer we had wasn't working out very well and Phil kept saying that he could play".

Taylor introduced the band to "Fast" Eddie Clarke, having worked with him while painting a houseboat. Taylor was unable to overdub the drumming on the 'Lost Johnny' track as he was arrested for being drunk and disorderly and the studio time had run out by the time he was released.

In 1978, Taylor, Lemmy and Clarke interrupted one of The Damned's Chiswick album sessions, turning it into a recorded 'jam session'. One track from this - 'Ballroom Blitz' - appeared as the B-side of 'I Just Can't Be Happy Today'.

Phil played on the first seven Motörhead studio albums plus live classic 'No Sleep 'Till Hammersmith' (1981) and 'Rock 'n' Roll' (1987), '1916' (1991) and 'March ör Die' (1992).

Shortly after recording the classic 'Ace Of Spades' album in 1980, Taylor broke his neck after being lifted above the head of a friend in a test of strength, only to be dropped upon his head. Taylor continued to play in Motörhead with the aid of a neck brace, as is visible in the music video for 'Ace Of Spades'. As a result, Taylor gained a prominent lump located on the back of his neck (affectionately referred to as his "knob"), thought to be a calcium deposit caused by his previous spinal trauma.

Tour-disrupting injuries were not unfamiliar to Taylor at the time, as he had previously broken his hand whilst punching a man outside his flat in London. In typical uncompromising Motörhead style, Taylor continued to drum by using gaffer tape to attach his drum stick into his hand until it had sufficiently healed.

After a 'final' appearance on The Young Ones in 1984, Philthy left Motörhead. The following year, he made appearances with Waysted, and joined another ex-Motörhead man, Brian Robertson (from Thin Lizzy), to form the band Operator. In 1986, he was part of Frankie Miller's touring band.

Taylor returned to Motörhead in 1987. He said "I always regretted leaving. Let's just say I took a three-year holiday." He continued playing in the group until 1992. After having been warned three times in the previous two years "to get his act together", he was fired after recording 'I Ain't No Nice Guy', because of his poor performance.

From 2005 to 2008 Taylor played and recorded in a group called The Web Of Spider with Whitey Kirst (Iggy Pop) on guitar and Max Noce on bass. In 2007 Taylor briefly worked on a project called Capricorn with former Danzig guitarist Todd Youth, former Monster Magnet guitarist/vocalist Phil Caivano and former Nashville Pussy bassist Corey Parks.

After playing in The Web of Spider, Taylor began work on a project with guitarist Chris Holmes, formerly of W.A.S.P., and in 2009, Taylor joined American thrash metal band Overkill for a set at the Islington Academy. The set included a cover of the Motörhead song from which Overkill took their name.

phil taylor

He sporadically played drums for Mick Farren and The Deviants, featuring on 'Dr Crow' (2002), 'Sheep In Wolves' Clothing' (2008) and 'Portobello Shuffle' (2009).

Phil reunited with Lemmy and Eddie on 6th November 2014 at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, England on stage for Motörhead's classic 'Ace Of Spades'.

Lemmy paid tribute to his fallen comrade late on Thursday afternoon, sayig: "Lil' Philthy... he who once shouted 'stop wincing about' on an album... he who fueled many a young boy's punk/metal hairstyles... he who played the drums with fury and intent... he who liked to call people 'wazzocks' once in a while... friend, Roman, Derbyshireman... rest in peace... with much love..."

Ozzy Osbourne also paid tribute: "Just heard about Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor's passing. It's a terrible terrible loss. He was a great friend - great drummer - a great guy and he will be dearly missed. Today is a very sad day for me. Rest in peace - and he still owes me 500 bucks from that time in Vegas."

Phil was a legendary drummer, renowned for his unique style and our full condolences go to his family and friends.


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