Phil Taylor (21 September 1954 – 11 November 2015), better known as “Philthy Animal” Taylor, was an English rock drummer in the British heavy metal band Motörhead from 1975–1984 and 1987–1992 recording ten studio albums and the live albums No Sleep ’til Hammersmith and No Sleep At All. The classic Motörhead line-up consisted of Lemmy, Taylor, and Fast Eddie Clarke.
Phil Taylor died on 11 November 2015 at the age of 61 after an illness. “Fast” Eddie Clarke said of his former bandmate via 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!”
Lemmy told Classic Rock that he’s “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.
Lemmy himself died less than seven weeks after Taylor, on 28 December 2015.
Later it was revealed that liver failure was cited as the cause of Taylor’s death.