Philip Taylor Kramer

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Philip Taylor Kramer
Born(1952-07-12)July 12, 1952
Youngstown, Ohio
Diedca. February 12, 1995(1995-02-12) (aged 42)
Decker Canyon near Malibu, California
InstrumentsBass
Associated actsIron Butterfly
DisappearedFebruary 12, 1995 (aged 42)
Los Angeles County/Ventura County, California
StatusFound
Cause of deathProbable suicide
Body discoveredMay 29, 1999

Philip Taylor Kramer (July 12, 1952 ca. February 12, 1995) was an American bass guitar player for the rock group Iron Butterfly and associated groups between 1974 and 1980. He later became a computer engineering executive and inventor. He disappeared in February 1995 and was found dead in May 1999, his death ruled a probable suicide.

Circa – frequently abbreviated c., ca., or ca and less frequently circ. or cca. – signifies "approximately" in several European languages and as a loanword in English, usually in reference to a date. Circa is widely used in historical writing when the dates of events are not accurately known.

Iron Butterfly American rock group

Iron Butterfly is an American rock band best known for the 1968 hit "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida", providing a dramatic sound that led the way towards the development of hard rock and heavy metal music. Formed in San Diego, California, among band members who used to be "arch enemies", their heyday was the late 1960s, but the band has been reincarnated with various members with varying levels of success, with no new recordings since 1975. The band's seminal 1968 album In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida is among the world's 40 best-selling albums, selling more than 30 million copies. Iron Butterfly is also notable for being the first group to receive an RIAA platinum album award.

Contents

Early life and music career

Philip Taylor Kramer was born in 1952 in Youngstown, Ohio. In 1974, he joined Iron Butterfly as its bass player, playing on two of the group's albums, Scorching Beauty and Sun and Steel , both released in 1975. [1] After the breakup of Iron Butterfly, Kramer continued to play with founding member Ron Bushy in the groups Magic and Gold between 1977 and 1980.

Youngstown, Ohio City in Ohio, United States

Youngstown is a city in and the county seat of Mahoning County in the U.S. state of Ohio, with small portions extending into Trumbull County. According to the 2010 Census, Youngstown had a city proper population of 66,982, while the Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA Metropolitan Statistical Area it anchors contained 565,773 people in Mahoning and Trumbull counties in Ohio, and Mercer County in Pennsylvania.

<i>Scorching Beauty</i> Album by Iron Butterfly

Scorching Beauty is the fifth studio album released by Iron Butterfly. Released four years after their original breakup, it was recorded by a reformed lineup with only one member remaining from their previous album. In addition to Bushy, this lineup includes Erik Brann, the guitarist from the classic lineup, Phil Kramer, and Howard Reitzes. The album cover was designed by Ernie Cefalu and illustrated by Drew Struzan. This album, along with Sun and Steel, failed commercially. Tracks from this album tend to be ignored on Iron Butterfly compilations/greatest hit collections.

<i>Sun and Steel</i> (album) Album by Iron Butterfly

Sun and Steel is the sixth and final studio album released by Iron Butterfly in 1975. It explores a wider variety of styles than any other Iron Butterfly album, yet always remains within the contemporary conventions of hard rock. Tracks from this album are usually left out of Iron Butterfly compilations/greatest hit collections.

Engineering career

Kramer later obtained a night school degree in aerospace engineering, he worked on the MX missile guidance system for a contractor of the US Department of Defense and later in the computer industry on fractal compression, facial recognition systems, and advanced communications.

United States Department of Defense United States federal executive department

The Department of Defense is an executive branch department of the federal government charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government concerned directly with national security and the United States Armed Forces. The department is the largest employer in the world, with nearly 1.3 million active duty servicemen and women as of 2016. Adding to its employees are over 826,000 National Guardsmen and Reservists from the four services, and over 732,000 civilians bringing the total to over 2.8 million employees. Headquartered at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C., the DoD's stated mission is to provide "the military forces needed to deter war and ensure our nation's security".

Fractal compression is a lossy compression method for digital images, based on fractals. The method is best suited for textures and natural images, relying on the fact that parts of an image often resemble other parts of the same image. Fractal algorithms convert these parts into mathematical data called "fractal codes" which are used to recreate the encoded image.

Facial recognition system computer application capable of identifying or verifying a person from a digital image or a video frame from a video source

A facial recognition system is a technology capable of identifying or verifying a person from a digital image or a video frame from a video source. There are multiple methods in which facial recognition systems work, but in general, they work by comparing selected facial features from given image with faces within a database. It is also described as a Biometric Artificial Intelligence based application that can uniquely identify a person by analysing patterns based on the person's facial textures and shape.

Kramer, the son of a professor of electrical engineering, had a lifelong interest in science and mathematical theorems. In 1964, at the age of 12, he won the science fair at Liberty School in Youngstown, Ohio, by building a laser with a beam strong enough to pop a balloon. [2] In 1990, at the age of 38, Kramer co-founded Total Multimedia Inc. with Randy Jackson (brother of Michael Jackson) to develop data compression techniques for CD-ROMs. [3] [4] The firm claims it developed the first video compression capable of producing full motion video from a single speed CD-ROM in 1992. In 1994 the company was reorganized under bankruptcy and hired new leadership. Kramer continued working there until his disappearance, though he was profoundly affected by the bankruptcy and reorganization. [2] [4] Kramer co-developed SoftVideo based on fractal compression and he also claimed to work on a transmission project that would result in faster-than-light speed communications. The latter related to his father Ray's long-running family effort to discredit Albert Einstein's theories. [4]

Electrical engineering field of engineering that deals with electricity

Electrical engineering is a technical discipline concerned with the study, design and application of equipment, devices and systems which use electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. It emerged as an identified activity in the latter half of the 19th century after commercialization of the electric telegraph, the telephone, and electrical power generation, distribution and use.

Liberty High School is a public high school in Liberty Township, just north of Youngstown, Ohio. It is the only high school in the Liberty Local School District.

Steven Randall Jackson is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and dancer. Jackson is best known as a former member of his family band, the Jacksons. Jackson is the youngest Jackson brother, and the second-youngest Jackson sibling after his sister Janet Jackson. He is also the ninth child in the Jackson family.

Death and investigation

On February 12, 1995, Kramer drove to Los Angeles International Airport to pick up a business associate and his wife. The business associate had been a principal investor in Total Multimedia and also a principal instigator of its bankruptcy reorganization. On his way to the airport, Kramer telephoned his wife to advise that plans had changed, and that the business associate and his wife should go directly from the airport to a hotel, where Kramer and his wife would meet them later. Kramer nonetheless appears to have spent forty-five minutes at the airport, for unexplained reasons. [2] During his travel to and from the airport, Kramer made a flurry of cell phone calls, including calls to his wife, Ron Bushy and finally to the police. In the latter call, Kramer said, "I'm going to kill myself ... And I want everyone to know: O.J. Simpson is innocent. They did it. This is supposedly in reference to video evidence in which Taylor was hired just before his disappearance to analyze the authenticity of a video tape that the FBI and the DEA had on the O.J. Simpson murder trial." [2] [4]

Los Angeles International Airport airport serving the Greater Los Angeles Area

Los Angeles International Airport, locally referred to as LAX, is the primary international airport serving Los Angeles, California, United States, and its surrounding metropolitan area.

Kramer was never heard from again. His disappearance led to a massive search, many news reports, and talk show segments including an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show , America's Most Wanted , The Unexplained ("Strange Disappearances," first aired June 7, 2000) and Unsolved Mysteries . [3] An article in Skeptic reported numerous conspiracy theories about his death. [5]

<i>The Oprah Winfrey Show</i> television series

The Oprah Winfrey Show, often referred to simply as Oprah, is an American syndicated talk show that aired nationally for 25 seasons from September 8, 1986, to May 25, 2011, in Chicago, Illinois. Produced and hosted by its namesake, Oprah Winfrey, it remains the highest-rated daytime talk show in American television history.

<i>Americas Most Wanted</i> television program

America's Most Wanted is an American television program that was produced by 20th Television. At the time of its cancellation by the Fox television network in June 2011, it was the longest-running program in the network's history, a mark since surpassed by The Simpsons. The show started off as a half-hour program on February 7, 1988. In 1990, the show's format was changed from 30 minutes to 60 minutes. The show's format was reverted to 30 minutes in 1995, and then back to 60 minutes in 1996. A short-lived syndicated spinoff titled America's Most Wanted: Final Justice aired during the 1995-96 season.

The Unexplained is an American paranormal television series that originally aired from January 2, 1996 to May 7, 2000 on A&E and is currently being broadcast on the Biography Channel. The program features various mysteries, paranormal, psychic phenomena, and other topics that are considered to be "unexplained". Earlier episodes of the series are narrated by Bill Kurtis.

Discovery

On May 29, 1999, Kramer's Ford Aerostar minivan and skeletal remains were found [6] by photographers looking for old car wrecks to shoot at the bottom of Decker Canyon near Malibu, California. [4] Based on forensic evidence and Kramer's emergency call to the police, authorities ruled his death as a probable suicide committed on the day he was last heard from. However, his father never believed he killed himself and is quoted as saying "Taylor had told me a long time before there were people bothering him. They wanted what he was doing and some of them threatened him. He once told me that if I ever say I'm gonna kill myself, don't you believe it one bit. I'll be needing help" [1]

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 Swanson, David The mysterious death of Iron Butterfly bassist Philip Taylor Kramer. Ultimate Classic Rock, February 12, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Reed, Leonard Missing: Philip (Taylor) Kramer. Los Angeles Times , March 30, 1995. Retrieved July 6, 2016.
  3. 1 2 Leiby, Richard ""Far out Taylor Kramer, rock musician, rocket scientist, entrepreneur, has vanished into thin air."". Archived from the original on August 7, 2004. Retrieved August 26, 2013., Washington Post, October 6, 1996; also archived
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Uncredited (October 1999). "The Vanishing". Maxim. Archived from the original on February 4, 2002. Retrieved March 10, 2018; also archived
  5. Rice, Fredric, "Iron Butterfly Member Disappears After Allegedly Working on Faster-Than-Light Communication - Is He In A Godda Da Vida?", Skeptic (U.S. magazine), 1996.
  6. Rosen, Craig (June 1, 1999). "Iron Butterfly Fans Come To Terms With Apparent Discovery Of Missing Rocker's Remains". Archived from the original on March 7, 2007. Retrieved August 26, 2013.