“Philthy Animal” Phil Taylor, the former drummer for the British heavy metal band Motorhead, has died. He was 61.
Guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke, Taylor’s friend and bandmate, wrote on Facebook: “My dear friend and brother passed away last night… He was one hell of a character.” Taylor played for the Motorhead – the trio consisted of him, Clarke and frontman, Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister – for 14 years. According to BBC, Taylor was part of the band from 1975 to 1984 and 1987 to 1992.
“Fortunately we made some fantastic music together and I have many, many fond memories of our time together,” Clarke said. He added that while the former drummer had been sick for quite some time, “that does not make it any easier when the time finally comes”.
Motorhead is regarded as the pioneer of the speed metal genre, credited to be an inspiration for some of the bestselling metal acts like Metallica, Guns ‘n’ Roses and the Foo Fighters. They were also referred to as the “best band in the world” by the British music magazine.
According to the band’s website, Taylor left Motorhead – which was formed by songwriter and singer Lemmy in 1975 – in 1984, but rejoined three years later. The band released some of the most influential albums like Overkill, Bomber and Ace of Spades, and live recording No Sleep ‘til Hammersmith. USA Today reports that Taylor was eventually dismissed for being unable to sort out his messy personal life.
Motorhead’s official Facebook page, in a tribute to Taylor, said, “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 …”