(Photo: Getty Images)

Phil Taylor, a former member of seminal British heavy-metal band Motörhead, has died. He was 61. The Guardian reports that news of Taylor’s passing was relayed by his friend and bandmate Eddie Clarke, who posted on Facebook:

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!

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Taylor was born in the central British town of Chesterfield and replaced original Motörhead drummer Lucas Fox during recording of On Parole in 1975. Taylor, along with bassist/singer Lemmy Kilmister and guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke, is considered one-third of the “classic” Motörhead lineup, and his drumming appears on many of the group’s most celebrated albums, including Overkill, Bomber, Ace Of Spades, and the live record No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith.

His first tenure with the band lasted until 1984, when he left the group after appearing on an episode of the British TV series The Young Ones. He rejoined in 1987, calling the three-year hiatus “a holiday,” and continued to record and tour with the band until he was fired during the recording of March Or Die in 1992. After his departure from Motörhead, Taylor played sporadically for a handful of bands, and appears on the 1999 Deviants album The Deviants Have Left The Planet. Taylor reunited with Kilmister and Clarke in 2014, when he appeared on stage (but did not play) at a Motörhead gig in Birmingham.

Along with Clarke’s tribute, a message also appeared on the official Motörhead Facebook page earlier today, wishing the “Philthy animal” a fond headbanger’s farewell:

Lil’ Philthy
he who once shouted ‘stop wincing about’ on an album
he who fueled many a young boy’s punk/metal hairstyles
he who played the drums with fury and intent
he who liked to call people ‘wazzocks’ once in a while
friend, Roman, Derbyshireman
rest in peace
with much love


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