Another year has come to an end. While 2015 was full of life in so many vivid ways — creatively, intensely, and tragically — it also presented its own set of challenges and obstacles to overcome in the new year. And as a year also brings, we also lost many shining figures in the music world, among other fields.
Here’s a look of some of those figures who touched our lives and will continue to do so always as we remember some of the key people in music, people who are legends, pioneers, luminaries, inspirations, and above all, timeless.
To say that I am devastated by the recent deaths of Motorhead founding members Lemmy Kilmister and Phil Taylor is a serious understatement. Motorhead was, and will always be, one of the very cornerstones of metal for me. From the very first time that I heard “Ace of Spades” on MTV in 1981, my life would never be the same. I mean, here was a band that consisted of the most insane-looking drummer that I had ever seen up to that time, a guitarist who played faster than I’d ever heard, and a biker-looking dude with his vocal mic pointed skyward as though he were screaming at the gods themselves with a bass tone that sounded like they were screaming back! Motorhead was the band that bridged the gap between metalheads and punkers. They pretty much invented speed metal and it’s nearly impossible to imagine the existence of all of the metallic hardcore hybrids that followed had they not paved the way.
Much has been said about Lemmy, Phil, and Motorhead’s influence in recent weeks. I was privileged enough to meet Lemmy several times at his favorite watering hole, The Rainbow Bar and Grill right here in L.A. He was a funny, witty, down-to-Earth guy who, it seemed, everyone loved. He even kissed my wife at the turn of midnight on New Year’s Eve 1999. That was a year before we were together, but even if it hadn’t been, Lemmy was the kind of guy who you could forgive for kissing your wife. Everyone in L.A. or who was ever a Motorhead fan has a story to tell. For this Massive Metal Monday, we’ll just raise glass, crank the hell out of our speakers, and let Lemmy break it off for you in his own words. Here from the band who talked the talk and walked the walk is “Live To Win” from Motorhead’s landmark fourth album, Ace of Spades.
Phil Taylor, better known as Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor, former drummer for heavy metal icons Motorhead, died on Wednesday, November 11, 2015. He was 61.
Word of Taylor’s passing comes from his former Motorhead bandmate “Fast” Eddie Clarke, who posted the news today to his official Facebook page, noting that his friend “had been ill for sometime.” There was no mention of the cause of death.
The British-born Taylor was drummer for the popular Motorhead line-up that consisted of Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister on bass and vocals, and Clarke on guitar, and appeared on the band’s most classic albums, Overkill (1979), Bomber (1979), Ace of Spades (1980), and Iron Fist (1982). He was with the group from 1975 till 1984, when he left, but then he returned in 1987 for the album Rock and Roll before leaving again in 1992.
Classic Albums: MotÃ¶rhead (Ace of Spades) Netflix DVD
Directed by Tim Kirkby
Starring Lemmy Kilmister, Phil Taylor, Eddie Clarke, Slash, Lars Ulrich
Eagle Rock Entertainment
Originally Released: April 27, 2005
"We weren’t even given credit as musicians. People thought we were fuckin’ wankers…"
– Eddie Clarke, MotÃ¶rhead
There are many seminal albums that have stayed the course of the Metal genre over the years, but very few have reached across multiple genres becoming such a cornerstone in music history as MotÃ¶rhead‘s Ace of Spades. The 1980 release was hugely prominent in its day, but is perhaps more so as time goes on.
While their albums Overkill and Bomber put MotÃ¶rhead on the map, it was Ace of Spades that catapulted them to international stardom (or notoriety). The band was led by the god known only as Lemmy, and joined by guitarist Fast Eddie Clarke and backed by Phil “The Animal” Taylor (responsible for the invention of using double bass drum in metal songs).