R.I.P. Canned Heat/Tom Waits Bassist Larry Taylor
Published Aug 21, 2019Larry Taylor — the bassist of classic '60s rock band Canned Heat — has died. The musician, who also played with the likes of Tom Waits, the Monkees and John Mayall, passed away following a 12-year battle with cancer. He was 77.
Canned Heat's manager and one-time producer Skip Taylor confirmed the sad news on the band's Facebook, revealing the bassist died on Monday (August 19) at his home in Lake Balboa, CA.
"Larry told great stories, funny jokes, was a foodie, wine, record, and rock poster collector, computer whiz and a special human being who really 'lived for music,'" Skip Taylor wrote. "Music was his religion! He influenced many of us in different ways and he will be missed by many throughout the music industry."
Larry Taylor, often known by his nickname "The Mole," joined Canned Heat in 1967, cementing what many fans consider the band's classic lineup. The group played the original Woodstock festival in 1969, as well as the famed Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. Canned Heat were also set to play the much-troubled and now-cancelled Woodstock 50.
Born on June 26, 1942, in New York, Taylor began his musical career as a teenager, first touring with Jerry Lee Lewis. This led to a steady gig as the regular studio bassist for famed TV act the Monkees, appearing on most of the group's albums.
Taylor also worked as session player, contributing to tracks by artists such as Albert King, Solomon Burke, Buddy Guy, JJ Cale, Ry Cooder, John Mayall, Leo Kottke, the Blasters, Harvey Mandel and Charlie Musselwhite.
Taylor also famously worked with Tom Waits, playing on the songwriter's famed albums Swordfishtrombones and Rain Dogs. In addition, Taylor landed a role in Waits' touring band, in which he played stand-up bass.
Taylor reunited with Canned Heat multiple times over the years and was set to do so again for Woodstock 50 before the festival ultimately fell apart.
You can read Skip Taylor's full message below.