Motorhead drummer Phil Taylor dies

Motorhead, performing on Top of the Pops
Image caption Motorhead's first appearance on Top of the Pops was Louie Louie. Other major hits included Overkill and Ace of Spades.

Former Motorhead drummer "Philthy Animal" Phil Taylor has died aged 61, his bandmate and friend has said.

Guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke wrote on Facebook: "My dear friend and brother passed away last night... He was one hell of a character."

Taylor, from Chesterfield, played in the British heavy metal band for 14 years with Clarke and frontman Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister.

He features on all the band's hits, including Ace of Spades and Overkill.

"Fortunately we made some fantastic music together and I have many, many fond memories of our time together," Clarke said.

He said Taylor had been ill for some time "but that does not make it any easier when the time finally comes".

Taylor played with Motorhead from 1975 to 1984 and 1987 to 1992 - dubbing the interim period "a holiday".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Taylor was Motorhead's drummer during all the band's major albums

In 1975, bassist, singer, and songwriter Lemmy formed Motorhead, which was to become one of the defining British metal bands of the 1980s.

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.

But he rejoined three years later and was present on all the band's major albums, including Overkill, Bomber, Ace of Spades, and live recording No Sleep 'til Hammersmith.

He was fired in 1992 during the recording of the March or Die album after he failed to learn the drum tracks on the song, I Ain't No Nice Guy.

Image caption Taylor replaced Motorhead's first drummer, Lucas Fox, during the making of their first recording On Parole

His last gig with the group was at Irvine Meadows in California in March 1992.

He did return for a brief Motorhead reunion gig in Birmingham last November, but only appeared on stage, not behind the drums.

A post on the band's official Facebook page said: "Lil' Philthy...he who fuelled many a young boy's punk/metal hairstyles...he who played the drums with fury and intent...friend, Roman, Derbyshireman...rest in peace...with much love."

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