Second time I’ve done this in a week and I’m angry about it, Phil ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor has passed away aged 61. It may sound a little trite, but I am absolutely gutted to hear the news. The classic line up of Motörhead released four absolutely peerless albums from March 1979 to June 1981*, to my mind a run equal, if not better, than anyone has ever managed in heavy metal. That speed, that fury, that iron-clad sound; part-metal/part-punk/totally fucking ferocious, was built on quite a handy rhythm section. Phil absolutely pummelled his drums into oblivion, he drove that band every bit as much as his illustrious leader did, as a blur of sticks, metal, snot and sweat.
You want proof of his status as one, if not the, best metal drummer ever? just listen to the live version of ‘Overkill’ from No Sleep ’til Hammersmith, nothing else needs to be said. Not a clean living chap by all accounts, certainly not back in the day and by all accounts a fractious fella to work with, he had two stints with the band and basically played on all my favourite Motörhead albums. I was lucky enough to see him play with Motörhead one time I saw them and it was brilliant too.
He came, he saw, he played a lot of drums very fast, he wore very tight black trousers, he had more fun than most of us get to pack into a lifetime and he left an enviable recorded legacy. R.I.P. Mr Taylor.
They made proper rock stars in those days!
*four albums in 27 months! Lazy bastards in bands these days would only manage one and a remix EP in that time span these days!