Larry Taylor, Canned Heat bassist, has died aged 77

He was also known for his work with Tom Waits and the Monkees.

Larry Taylor of Canned Heat
Image: Marc Marnie / Redferns

Long-time Canned Heat bassist Larry Taylor has died at the age of 77. The boogie rock band’s manager Skip Taylor made the announcement via Canned Heat’s Facebook page, confirming Taylor had passed following a 12-year battle with cancer.

Taylor was best known as a member of Canned Heat’s classic line-up which included Alan Wilson, Bob Hite, Henry Vestine and “Fito” de la Parra. Parra is the only surviving member of the group that notably played at the 1969 Woodstock Festival and 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.

Taylor was born 26 June 1942 in New York. His professional career began when he was still a teenager, touring with Jerry Lee Lewis. He then became a regular studio bassist for the Monkees, laying basslines on a number of their records including their eponymous 1966 debut.

Before his work with Canned Heat, Taylor was a session musician for numerous big names, including Albert King, Solomon Burke, Buddy Guy, Charlie Musselwhite, JJ Cale, Ry Cooder and Harvey Mandel, as Skip Taylor notes in his statement. Over the past three decades, he has made appearances on records by John Lee Hooker, John Mayall, John Hammond Jr., Kim Wilson, JW-Jones and Tom Waits.

“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 in the statement. “Music was his religion! He influenced many of us in different ways and he will be missed by many throughout the music industry.”

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Read the full statement here.

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