Motorhead drummer 'Philthy Animal' dead at 61

Motorhead's Ace Of Spades album cover featuring Phil Taylor (left).
Motorhead's Ace Of Spades album cover featuring Phil Taylor (left).FACEBOOK

LONDON (AFP) - Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor, the former drummer of Motorhead, has died, the British iconic heavy metal group said Thursday.

Taylor, who was 61, was with the hard rock band from 1975 to 1984 - with frontman Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister and guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke, considered the group's classic line-up - and was back in the band from 1987 to 1992.

He played on the band's legendary 1980 song Ace Of Spades.

The cause of death was not immediately clear.

"My dear friend and brother passed away last night," Clarke wrote on Facebook.

"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!"

Motorhead, dubbed the loudest band in the world, also paid tribute to their former drummer on their Facebook page.

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."

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