1 Year Ago: Motorhead Ex-Drummer Phil Taylor Diesby Best Classic Bands Staff
Former Mötorhead drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor, age 61, died November 11, 2015 due to liver failure. He replaced the iconic heavy metal band’s first drummer, Lucas Fox, during the recording of their first album, On Parole, in 1975, and played a significant role in defining their sound thereafter. He performed on all of the group’s major albums, including Overkill, Bomber, Ace of Spades and No Sleep ’til Hammersmith.
Mötorhead frontman Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister–who himself would pass on December 28–paid tribute to Taylor in a heartfelt Facebook post. “I’m feeling very sad at the moment, in fact devastated because one of my best friends died yesterday,” he wrote. “I miss him already. His name was Phil Taylor, or Philthy Animal, and he was our drummer twice in our career. Now he’s died and it really pisses me off that they take somebody like him and leave George Bush alive. So muse on that. We’re still going, we’re still going strong, it’s just first Würzel” – Guitarist Michael “Würzel” Burston passed away July 9th, 2011, also at age 61 – “and now Philthy, it’s a shame man. I think this rock’n’roll business might be bad for the human life. Oh well.”
Related: Tributes to Lemmy
Mötorhead released their 22nd studio album, Bad Magic, in August 2015, offering up a fresh batch of the kind of maximum volume meat and potatoes rock ‘n’ roll they do best, replete with driving guitars, rumbling bass and raspy falsetto.
For a while, the band pushed on with their massive 40th anniversary tour – with dates all over Europe originally scheduled through February 2016. The world’s loudest band had to cut multiple shows short and completely cancel others due to Kilmister’s myriad maladies – respiratory difficulties, gastric illness and back pain, just to name a few. (See our news item here.) The band also canceled its November 15 Paris show in the wake of that city’s terror attacks.
They continued into December; their final performance was December 11 in Berlin, Germany…
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The 69-year-old metal icon and rock music lifer had insisted he’ll continue to perform “as long as I can walk the few yards from the back to the front of the stage without a stick. Or even if I do have to use a stick.”