It is with great shock and sadness that Metalireland offers condolences to the family and friends of Willy Taylor, who has died aged 39.
I am sure all of us reading will keep them in our thoughts over the coming days and offer anything we can to support them.
Many users of Metalireland will have known, played with or watched Willy drum through his various bands – most memorably being the rhythmic force benhind the technical grind of Condemned for two decades, but also playing with Lesshelp, The Obscene Machine, Honey For Christ and others.
He was an astonishing musician.
Nothing short of an athlete behind those Tama kickdrums, there can be few of us who saw him over the years whose jaws did not either hit the floor, or turn into a giddy grin, as we watched him accelerate to speeds on the kit that practically no-one else in the country could.
His double kick, rolls, fills and blasts were a masterclass even at the most ordinary gig.
So many summer evenings I can recall hanging about just to the side of a stage where Condemned were playing specifically to watch Willy do his thing. All the musos practically took it in turns to do the same.
And to that end he was always helpful and supportive of young players – chatting, generally being friendly and without a single air or grace about him.
All that encountered Willy knew him as the quietly spoken gentleman, usually pausing behind a quick smile and a quicker rolled cigarette before giving his thoughts.
Its a wonder that from such a soft voice and self-effacing personality could come such total thunder behind the drum kit. He never let his talent get in the way of being extraordinarily humble and a genuinely kind man.
There will be so many happy memories shared by the bands, musicians, punters, promoters and crews of Willy Taylor and his down to earth charm.
His drumming leaves an example for everyone here not just to follow, but to aspire to as well. That's what every musician I ever watched watching him was doing – because he was the best.
I hope in the coming days and weeks his family and friends can take heart from the memories and anything anyone can offer for them.
The world has lost a great talent and it's with true fondness that we remember him. Dedicated musician, superlative drummer, and warm hearted gentleman to all he encountered.
All of us will surely affirm that it was a pleasure and a privilege to have known him.
He leaves a real legacy: a generation of younger rock drummers who looked up to him and got better because they did so.
What an incredible magic to leave us all with.
Rest in Peace.