Ex-Motorhead drummer ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor dies

61-year-old played with group from 1975 to 1984 and 1987 to 1992

Late former Motorhead drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor. File photograph: Getty Images

Late former Motorhead drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor. File photograph: Getty Images


Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor, the former drummer with British rock band Motorhead, has died.

The 61-year-old played with the heavy metal group from 1975 to 1984 and 1987 to 1992 alongside frontman Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister and guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke.

Writing on his official Facebook page, Clarke said: “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!”

A post on Motorhead’s Facebook page also paid tribute to their former drummer.

It said: “Lil’ Philthy ... he who once shouted ‘stop wincing about’ on an album ... he who fuelled 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.”

Grammy-award winners Motorhead are perhaps best known for their single Ace Of Spades, while the fanged face that appears on their album artwork has become one of rock’s most recognisable figures.

Taylor, from Chesterfield, played on all of the group’s major albums, including Overkill, Bomber, Ace of Spades, and live recording No Sleep ‘til Hammersmith.

He replaced Motorhead’s first drummer, Lucas Fox, during the making of their first recording On Parole in 1975.

According to the band’s website, Taylor quit in February 1984 after the band recorded a version of Ace of Spades for the television series The Young Ones.

After rejoining Motorhead in 1987, Taylor was fired in 1992 during the recording of the March or Die album after he did not learn the drum tracks on the song I Ain’t No Nice Guy.

He played his last gig with the group at Irvine Meadows in California in March 1992.

Taylor reunited with Kilmister and Clarke on stage at Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena in November 2014, only for the drummer to wave to the crowd and leave.

Press Association