Phil Taylor (musician)

Last updated

Phil Taylor
Phil Taylor (1982).jpg
Taylor at Afan Lido, Port Talbot in 1982
Background information
Also known asPhilthy Animal Taylor
Born(1954-09-21)21 September 1954
Hasland, Chesterfield, England
Died11 November 2015(2015-11-11) (aged 61)
London, England
Genres Heavy metal, rock n roll, hard rock, speed metal
Instruments Drums
Years active1975–2015
Associated acts Motörhead, Waysted

Philip John Taylor (21 September 1954 – 11 November 2015), better known as Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor, was an English drummer for the rock band Motörhead from 1975–1984 and 1987–1992, recording eleven studio albums and four live albums. The Motörhead line-up consisting of Taylor, Lemmy, and "Fast" Eddie Clarke is generally regarded as the 'classic' line-up of the band.

Drummer percussionist who creates and accompanies music using drums

A drummer is a percussionist who creates music using drums.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Motörhead English rock band

Motörhead were an English rock band formed in June 1975 by bassist, singer, and songwriter Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister, who was the sole constant member, guitarist Larry Wallis and drummer Lucas Fox. The band are often considered a precursor to the new wave of British heavy metal, which re-energised heavy metal in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Though several guitarists and drummers have played in Motörhead, most of their best-selling albums and singles feature the work of Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor on drums and "Fast" Eddie Clarke on guitars.



Born on 21 September 1954, in Hasland, Chesterfield, Taylor grew up in Leeds. He took drum lessons at Leeds College of Music on advice from his father. After meeting Lemmy, who was a fellow speed user, he joined Motörhead and replaced Lucas Fox during the recording of the band's first album On Parole in 1975. Lemmy has said that Fox wasn't working out and Taylor "had a car and could give us a lift back down to the studio". Taylor, in turn, introduced Lemmy to guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke, having worked with him while painting a houseboat.

Hasland a town in Derbyshire, United Kindom

Hasland is a suburb in the south-east of Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England. Hasland is located South of Spital, East of Birdholme and North of Grassmoor. Hasland is a ward of the Borough of Chesterfield. The ward population at the 2011 Census was 6,615. The A617 links Hasland, along with Chesterfield, to the M1. Historically a village, with many local residents continuing to refer to it as a village, it expanded greatly during the 20th century and now merges with Chesterfield itself.

Chesterfield Town & Borough in England

Chesterfield is a large market town and borough in Derbyshire, England. It lies 24 miles (39 km) north of Derby and 11 miles (18 km) south of Sheffield at the confluence of the rivers Rother and Hipper. Including Whittington, Brimington and Staveley it had a population of about 103,800 in 2011, making it the second largest town in the ceremonial county after Derby. Archaeologists trace it back to a Roman fort built in the 1st century AD, but soon abandoned. Later an Anglo-Saxon village developed. The name derives from the Old English ceaster and feld. It has a street market of some 250 stalls three days a week. The town sits on a coalfield, which was economically important until the 1980s. Little visual evidence of mining remains. The best-known landmark is the Church of St Mary and All Saints with its crooked spire, originally built in the 14th century.

Leeds City in England

Leeds is a city in West Yorkshire, England. Leeds has one of the most diverse economies of all the UK's main employment centres and has seen the fastest rate of private-sector jobs growth of any UK city. It also has the highest ratio of private to public sector jobs of all the UK's Core Cities, with 77% of its workforce working in the private sector. Leeds has the third-largest jobs total by local authority area, with 480,000 in employment and self-employment at the beginning of 2015. Leeds is ranked as a gamma world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Leeds is the cultural, financial and commercial heart of the West Yorkshire Urban Area. Leeds is served by four universities, and has the fourth largest student population in the country and the country's fourth largest urban economy.

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 on 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 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 Taylor at the time, as he had previously broken his hand whilst punching a man outside his flat in London. Taylor continued to drum by using gaffer tape to attach his drum stick into his hand until it had sufficiently healed.

<i>Ace of Spades</i> (album) 1980 studio album by Motörhead

Ace of Spades is the fourth studio album by the band Motörhead, released 8 November 1980, on Bronze Records. It peaked at No. 4 on the UK Albums Chart and reached Gold status by March 1981. It was preceded by the release of the title track as a single on 27 October, which peaked in the UK Singles Chart at No. 15 in early November.

Ace of Spades (song) song by Motörhead

"Ace of Spades" is a song by English heavy metal band Motörhead, released in 1980 as a single and the title track to the album Ace of Spades.

Gaffer tape Heavy cotton cloth pressure-sensitive tape

Gaffer tape is a heavy cotton cloth pressure-sensitive tape with strong adhesive and tensile properties. It is widely used in theatre, photography, film and television production, and industrial staging work.

Taylor left Motörhead in 1984. The following year, he made appearances with Waysted, and joined former Motörhead and Thin Lizzy guitarist Brian Robertson to form the band Operator. In 1986, he was part of Frankie Miller's touring band. [1]

Waysted British band

Waysted is a rock band formed by the UFO bass guitarist Pete Way and the Scottish rocker Fin Muir in 1982. Recruiting Frank Noon, Ronnie Kayfield and Paul Raymond, Waysted signed to Chrysalis Records and released Vices in 1983.

Thin Lizzy Irish rock band

Thin Lizzy are a hard rock band formed in Dublin, Ireland in 1969. Two of the founding members, drummer Brian Downey and bass guitarist and lead vocalist Phil Lynott, met while still in school. Lynott led the group throughout their recording career of twelve studio albums, writing most of the material. The singles "Whiskey in the Jar", "Jailbreak", and "The Boys Are Back in Town" were major international hits. After Lynott's death in 1986, various incarnations of the band emerged over the years based initially around guitarists Scott Gorham and John Sykes, though Sykes left the band in 2009. Gorham later continued with a new line-up including Downey.

Brian Robertson (guitarist) musician, songwriter

Brian David Robertson is a Scottish rock guitarist, best known as a member of Thin Lizzy and Motörhead.

Taylor returned to Motörhead in 1987. He said "I always regretted leaving. Let's just say I took a three-year holiday." [2] 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. [3]

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 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 the heavy metal band 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.

Iggy Pop American rock singer-songwriter, musician, and actor

James Newell Osterberg Jr., better known as Iggy Pop, is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and actor. Designated the "Godfather of Punk", he was the vocalist of influential proto-punk band The Stooges, who were formed in 1967 and have disbanded and reunited multiple times since. He began a solo career with the 1977 album The Idiot, recorded in collaboration with David Bowie. He is well known for his outrageous and unpredictable stage antics.

Danzig (band) American heavy metal band

Danzig is an American heavy metal band, formed in 1987 in Lodi, New Jersey. The band is the musical outlet for singer-songwriter Glenn Danzig, preceded by the horror punk bands the Misfits and Samhain. They play in a bluesy doom-driven heavy metal style influenced by the early sound of Black Sabbath.

Todd Schofield, known as Todd Youth, was an American guitarist, best known for his work with Warzone, Murphy's Law and Danzig.

He sporadically played drums for Mick Farren and The Deviants, featuring on Dr. Crow (2002), [4] Sheep in Wolves' Clothing (2008), [5] and Portobello Shuffle (2009). [6]

Taylor reunited with Lemmy and Clarke on 6 November 2014 at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, on stage for Motörhead's classic "Ace of Spades" only to come on to wave to the crowd and leave.


Phil Taylor died on 11 November 2015, in London, at the age of 61 after an illness. [7] Liver failure was cited as a cause. [8]

"Fast" Eddie Clarke said of his former bandmate:

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!" [9] [10] [11]

Lemmy told Classic Rock that he was "devastated" to have lost one of his best friends as he also remembered former Motörhead guitarist Michael "Würzel" Burston, who died in 2011.

I'm feeling very sad at the moment, in fact devastated because one of my best friends died yesterday. 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 Wurzel and now Philthy, it's a shame man. I think this rock'n'roll business might be bad for the human life. [12]

Lemmy died on 28 December 2015, less than seven weeks after Taylor [13] and on 10 January 2018 "Fast Eddie" Clarke also died, leaving none of the classic Ace of Spades-era Mötorhead lineup alive. [14]



Other recordings

Other appearances

Related Research Articles

<i>On Parole</i> 1979 studio album by Motörhead

On Parole is the fourth recording released by the band Motörhead. It was intended as their first album and left unreleased at the time of its completion in 1976, and it was not released until over three years later, on 8 December 1979, after the commercial success of Overkill and Bomber that same year. It was released without the band's permission, and they consequently distanced themselves from it. As a result, it was not considered an official release by the band at the time and they did not want it released, as they had moved on, first to Chiswick Records and then Bronze Records, since then.

<i>Overkill</i> (Motörhead album) 1979 studio album by Motörhead

Overkill is the second studio album by the band Motörhead, released 24 March 1979, on Bronze Records, their first with the label, and it peaked at #24 on the UK charts. Kerrang! magazine listed the album at #46 among the "100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time".

<i>Bomber</i> (album) 1979 studio album by Motörhead

Bomber is the third studio album by the band Motörhead, released on 27 October 1979, on Bronze Records, their second with the label. The album reached #12 on the UK charts at the time.

<i>Another Perfect Day</i> 1983 studio album by Motörhead

Another Perfect Day is the sixth studio album by the band Motörhead, released 4 June 1983, on Bronze Records; which would also be their last full length original album with the label. It reached number 20 in the UK Albums Chart. It is the band's only studio album to feature lead guitarist Brian "Robbo" Robertson, best known for his work with Thin Lizzy.

<i>St. Valentines Day Massacre</i> (EP) 1981 EP by Headgirl

St. Valentine's Day Massacre is an EP recorded by members of Motörhead and their Bronze Records labelmates Girlschool, under the moniker Headgirl. It reached number five in the UK Singles Charts in 1981.

Headgirl was a collaboration between Motörhead and Girlschool in 1980, the result being the St. Valentine's Day Massacre EP, though the groups were credited as Motör Headgirl School on the EP.

<i>Iron Fist</i> (album) 1982 studio album by Motörhead

Iron Fist is the fifth studio album by the band Motörhead, and was released 17 April 1982, on Bronze Records. It would be the last of the 'classic' line up of Kilmister, Clarke and Taylor. Iron Fist peaked at No. 6 on the UK album charts. It was preceded by the release of the title track "Iron Fist" as a single on 3 April, which peaked in the UK singles chart at #29.

<i>No Remorse</i> (Motörhead album) 1984 compilation album by Motörhead

No Remorse is a compilation album by the band Motörhead, released 15 September 1984, covering their years under contract with Bronze Records and including four newly recorded tracks.

<i>Motörhead</i> (album) 1977 studio album by Motörhead

Motörhead is the self-titled debut studio album by the band Motörhead, released on 21 August 1977, on Chiswick Records, one of the first for the label. It is officially regarded as the band's debut album, though an album was recorded in 1975 for United Artists which was shelved, and was only released in 1979 after the band had established themselves commercially. This would be the first album to feature what would become the "classic" Motörhead lineup of Lemmy Kilmister, "Fast" Eddie Clarke and Philthy Animal Taylor and their only release under Chiswick, as they were signed to the larger Bronze Records by early 1978.

<i>Stand by Your Man</i> (EP) 1982 EP by Lemmy/Wendy O. Williams

Stand by Your Man is an EP released in 1982. It is a collaboration of the bands Motörhead and the Plasmatics. It is notorious as the reason "Fast" Eddie left Motörhead, more so than the bad reception the EP received. Lemmy and Wendy O. Williams had organised to do a duet of the famous Tammy Wynette country song, though most critics, and fans, to this day are baffled by the choice; Wendy coming from the Punk scene in the mid-late 70s and Lemmy having a mixture of Rock genres.

Eddie Clarke (musician) British musician

Edward Allan Clarke, better known as "Fast" Eddie Clarke, was a British guitarist who was a member of heavy metal bands Fastway and Motörhead. Of Motörhead's classic lineup, which consisted of Lemmy, himself and Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor, he was the last surviving member.

No Class 1979 single by Motörhead

"No Class" is a song by the British heavy metal band Motörhead. It was released in 1979 in 7" vinyl pressings. The song first appeared on the 1979 album Overkill, and became one of the "cornerstones" of the classic 1981 live album No Sleep 'til Hammersmith. It is one of the band's "anthems".

Iron Fist (song) song

"Iron Fist" is a song by the British heavy metal band Motörhead. It was released as a single in 1982, in 7" pressings in blue, black and translucent red vinyl.

Alan Burridge, was the official biographer of the heavy rock band, Motörhead. He retired 31 December 2017. He is also a writer of fiction novels and local interest books.

<i>Whats Words Worth?</i> 1983 live album by Motörhead

What's Words Worth? is the second live album by the band Motörhead, recorded on the 18 February 1978, but not released until 5 March 1983 on Big Beat Records, some five years later. It is a collection of songs they played in the mid-late 70s; pretty much none of this material has been part of their live set since the early-mid 80s.

<i>Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers</i> 1980 EP by Motörhead

Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers is an EP by the band Motörhead, released on 27 November 1980. The EP consists of four tracks recorded during sessions for their first album Motörhead, in 1977 at Escape Studios, Kent, England, but were previously unreleased. The EP was released by Big Beat Records, a subsidiary of Chiswick Records, who the band were signed to when the tracks were recorded in 1977. The release was not authorized by the band, though they did not oppose it.


  1. "Frankie Miller". Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  2. Motörhead (2013). "Aftershock". Classic Rock: 99.
  3. Kilmister, Ian and Garza, Janiss White Line Fever (2002) — Simon & Schuster pp. 242-243 ISBN   0-684-85868-1
  4. Rich Deakin and Phil Jones. "The Deviants – Dr Crow". funtopia. Archived from the original on 23 December 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2009.
  5. Alan Burridge. "Motorheadbangers World Fan Club". self-published. Retrieved 29 October 2009.
  6. Rich Deakin. "Portobello Shuffle – Deviants and Pink Fairies". myspace. Retrieved 29 October 2009.
  7. "Phil 'Philthy Animal' Taylor: A Tribute". Classic Rock. 13 November 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  8. "Fast Eddie Clarke Official". Facebook. 12 November 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  9. "Former MOTÖRHEAD Drummer PHIL 'PHILTHY ANIMAL' TAYLOR Dies At 61". 12 November 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  10. "Ex-Motorhead Drummer Phil Taylor Dead at 61". Rolling Stone. 12 November 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  11. "Lemmy leads tributes to Philthy Animal Taylor". Classic Rock. 13 November 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  12. "Motorhead frontman Lemmy dies aged 70". 29 December 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2018 via
  13. "Motorhead Guitarist 'Fast' Eddie Clarke Dead at 67" . Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  14. Girlschool Promo video from Bronze Rocks on YouTube video