Phil Taylor, English drummer, Died at 61


Phil Taylor was born on September 21, 1954, and died on November 11, 2015.

Better known as “Philthy Animal” Phil was an English rock drummer in the British heavy metal band Motörhead from 1975 to 1984 and 1987 to 1992 recording ten studio albums and the live album No Sleep ’til Hammersmith.

The classic mark IV Motörhead line-up consisted of Lemmy, Phil, and Fast Eddie Clarke.

Born on 21 September 1954, in Hasland, Chesterfield, England, Phil replaced Motörhead’s first drummer, Lucas Fox, during the recording of the band’s first recording On Parole in 1975.

Lemmy explains choosing 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’.

Phil introduced the band to “Fast” Eddie Clarke, having worked with him while painting a houseboat.

Phil was unable to overdub the drumming on the ‘Lost Johnny’ track as he was arrested for being drunk and disorderly.

Also, the studio time had run out by the time he was released.

In 1978, Phil, 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.

Shortly after recording the classic Ace of Spades album in 1980, Phil broke his neck after being lifted above the head of a friend in a test of strength, only to be dropped upon his head.

Phil 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, Phil had 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 Phil at the time, as he had previously broken his hand whilst punching a man outside his flat in London.

In typical uncompromising Motörhead style, Phil 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, Phil was part of Frankie Miller’s touring band.

Phil passed away at age 61 in November 2015.