Roger Meddows Taylor
Roger Meddows Taylor
Roger Meddows Taylor, known as Roger Taylor, is an English singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He is best known as the drummer, backing vocalist and occasional lead vocalist of British rock band Queen. As a drummer he is known for his "big" unique sound and is considered one of the most influential rock drummers of the 1970s and '80s.
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  • 2012
    Age 62
    Taylor performed in the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games on 12 August 2012.
    More Details Hide Details From his last solo album Electric Fire in 1998 Taylor has been performing as a solo artist, as part of ensembles, and infrequently as Queen with May. At the end of 2004, May and Taylor announced that they would reunite and return to touring in 2005, with Paul Rodgers (founder and former lead singer of Free and Bad Company). May's website also stated that Rodgers would be 'featured with' Queen as Queen + Paul Rodgers, not replacing the late Freddie Mercury. The retired John Deacon would not be participating. Between 2005 and 2006, Queen + Paul Rodgers embarked on a world tour, the first leg being Europe, the second Japan and the US in 2006. On 15 August 2006, May confirmed through his website and fan club that Queen + Paul Rodgers would begin producing their first studio album beginning in October, to be recorded at a "secret location". The album, titled The Cosmos Rocks, was released in Europe on 12 September 2008 and in the US on 28 October 2008. Following the album release the band embarked on a tour through Europe and South America, opening on Kharkov's freedom square in front of 350,000 Ukrainian fans. This performance was shown in cinemas on 6 November 2008 for one airing only, and later released on DVD.
  • 2011
    Age 61
    At the 2011 MTV Europe Music Awards on 6 November, Queen received the Global Icon Award, and Taylor and Brian May closed the awards ceremony, with Adam Lambert on vocals, performing "The Show Must Go On", "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions".
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  • 2010
    Age 60
    Taylor remarried on 3 October 2010, to Sarina Potgieter, his girlfriend of six years.
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  • 2009
    Age 59
    In November 2009, Taylor appeared on the popular reality TV show The X Factor with May as Queen mentoring the contestants, then later performing "Bohemian Rhapsody".
    More Details Hide Details Also in that month, Taylor confirmed he is planning to tour with Taylor Hawkins, which Taylor described as a "quick tour".
  • 2008
    Age 58
    Until 2008, Taylor exclusively used Ludwig or Sleishman drum kits, or a combination of the two in the 2005 Return of the Champions Tour.
    More Details Hide Details In the recent Queen + Paul Rodgers 2008 The Cosmos Rocks tour he opted for a DW kit. DW Natural satin Maple Kit Main kit on tour Toms – 10"x8", 12"x 10" & 14"x12" Floor Toms – 16"x 16" & 18"x16" Bass Drum – 26"x 18" Snare Drum – 14"x 8" (Ludwig Classic Maple) Roto-Toms – 12" & 14" Remo Cymbals (all Zildjian) Hi-Hats – 15" Avedis New Beat Crash: 17" K Dark Crash, 19" K Dark Crash & 20" K Dark Crash Ride: 22" Avedis Ping Ride China: 22" Oriental China Trash Drum Pedal – DW 9002 (On all live performances with Queen, Taylor's pedal of choice was the Ludwig Speed King) DW Black Mirra with 24 carat gold hardware Front of stage kit Toms – 10"x8", 12"x10" & 14"x12" Floor Toms – 16"x16" & 18"x16" Bass Drum – 24"x18" Sub-Bass Drum – 24" x 8" Snare Drum – 14"x6.5" Roto-Toms – 12" & 14" Remo
  • 2007
    Age 57
    At Live Earth in 2007, Taylor opened the concert with Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters and Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers.
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  • 2006
    Age 56
    On 20 May 2006, Taylor performed with Eric Clapton and former Pink Floyd bassist/songwriter Roger Waters at the Highclere Castle, Hampshire, in support of the Countryside Alliance.
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    Taylor and May, performing as Queen, also appeared three times on the American singing contest television show American Idol, once on 11 April 2006, during which week contestants were required to sing a Queen song, (which included "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Fat Bottomed Girls", "The Show Must Go On", "Who Wants to Live Forever", and "Innuendo"), a second time on the show's season 8 finale in May 2009, performing "We Are the Champions" with finalists Adam Lambert and Kris Allen, and a third time on the eleventh season on 25 and 26 April 2012, performing a Queen medley with the six finalists on the first show, and the following day performed "Somebody to Love" with the 'Queen Extravaganza' band.
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  • 2002
    Age 52
    In late 2002, they decided to break up.
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  • 2001
    Age 51
    Taylor has appeared along with May for various other events and promotions, including Queen's 2001 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. and the "Party at the Palace" in 2002, celebrating the golden jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
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  • 1999
    Age 49
    He supported it with a small tour in the spring of 1999, on which Brian May joined him at the gig in Wolverhampton.
    More Details Hide Details Taylor also performed one of the first Internet-gigs – for which he got a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records. In 2010, after nearly twelve years between solo albums, Taylor planned to release a new studio album titled The Unblinking Eye (Everything Is Broken). The first single, of the same name, was released on 23 November 2009 as a digital download, but due to popular demand it was released as a limited edition single. Originally leaked to the official Queen fan club's website for members only, it still managed to be on YouTube within hours of the early bird release. In an interview before the Queen and Adam Lambert Concert in Poland, Roger Taylor stated that his new album 'The Unblinking Eye' should be out by November. The Cross were a side project of Taylor's that existed from 1987 to 1993 and released three albums. While still the drummer for Queen, Taylor fronted The Cross as rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist. On its debut release, The Cross incorporated dance influences which they dropped on their remaining two albums. The band never enjoyed much commercial success, except in Germany.
  • 1998
    Age 48
    In 1998 he released his fourth solo album Electric Fire.
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  • 1994
    Age 44
    In 1994 Taylor worked with Yoshiki Hayashi, drummer and pianist of X Japan and released the song "Foreign Sand" and a reworking of The Cross' "Final Destination".
    More Details Hide Details The album Happiness? was "Dedicated to the tasmanian tiger – thylacinus cynocephalus, but most especially... for Freddie". "Nazis 1994" from this album became Taylor's first hit single in England and was followed by two other top 40 UK hits, "Happiness" and "Foreign Sand."
  • 1993
    Age 43
    The band broke up in 1993 after performing a final show.
    More Details Hide Details Taylor continued working with Queen and produced solo albums. Drummer Macrae accompanied Taylor on his solo tours and also played percussion at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert. Both Taylor and keyboardist Edney participated in the Queen + Paul Rodgers tours, while Macrae worked behind the scenes as co-producer, sound engineer and Pro Tools engineer for them. In the late 1990s, Edney formed the SAS Band ("Spike's All Stars"), a group with an ever-changing line-up of popular '80s musicians.
  • 1986
    Age 36
    After Queen finished their 1986 Magic Tour, Taylor started a new band, The Cross, which released three albums over their six years of existence. In 1993 the band split up, after performing one final gig at the Gosport Festival.
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  • 1984
    Age 34
    His next venture, Strange Frontier, came in July 1984.
    More Details Hide Details The three singles from the album were the title track, "Beautiful Dreams" (in Portugal only) and "Man On Fire", the latter becoming a live favourite for him in later years. No attempts to promote the singles were made since Queen toured to promote The Works, and Taylor did not perform on any TV shows. Strange Frontier included guest appearances by bandmates Freddie Mercury and John Deacon. Mercury sang backing vocals on "Killing Time", Deacon remixed the B-side "I Cry For You" and Rick Parfitt co-wrote and played on "It's An Illusion". David Richards, Queen's engineer and producer at the time, also co-wrote two of the tracks. The album includes covers of Bruce Springsteen's "Racing in the Street" and Bob Dylan's "Masters of War".
  • 1981
    Age 31
    His first solo album, Fun In Space, was released in 1981.
    More Details Hide Details Taylor performed all vocals and played all instruments aside of about half of the keyboards, which were done by engineer David Richards. With Queen still touring heavily and recording at the time of release, Taylor was unable to promote the album to its fullest extent, so he appeared on some European TV shows to promote the single, "Future Management", including Top Of The Pops. The only other single to come from the album was "My Country". The only US single released from the album was "Let's Get Crazy".
  • 1977
    Age 27
    Taylor has had a productive solo career, releasing four albums. His first single was his 1977 cover of The Parliaments' "I Wanna Testify".
    More Details Hide Details He recorded it during Queen's sessions for the News of the World album. The A-side, although a cover, was completely different from the original. The B-side was a self-penned song "Turn On The TV".
  • 1970
    Age 20
    After the band split up in 1970, Bulsara convinced the remaining two members to continue, and he eventually joined the band. In 1971, they found bassist John Deacon and brought him into the group, before going on to release their debut album in 1973.
    More Details Hide Details Taylor was a prominent songwriter for the band, usually contributing one or two tracks per record. His compositions for Queen include: Songs written by Taylor, but credited the band collectively (like the whole The Miracle, Innuendo and most of Made in Heaven albums) and include: Many of these feature Taylor on vocals. His voice was very recognisable, for both its high range (he would often reach a E5 in full voice during live performances) and raspiness. His extremely high falsetto, sometimes going above a A5, was characteristic of Queen's vocal harmonies, and was often thought to be a woman's voice, or a synthesiser effect (most notably his screams on "In the Lap of the Gods", written by Mercury). His vocal range spans four octaves (E2-E6). Taylor's lead and partial vocal credits include:
  • 1969
    Age 19
    In 1969, Taylor was working with Freddie Mercury at the Kensington Market (they were living in an apartment around the same time).
    More Details Hide Details Mercury, then known as Freddie Bulsara, was an avid fan of Smile.
  • 1968
    Age 18
    Taylor met Brian May and Tim Staffell in 1968 after seeing an advert on a noticeboard at Imperial College for a drummer.
    More Details Hide Details Smile included May as lead guitarist, Staffell as lead vocalist and bassist, and later Taylor on drums. The band only lasted for two years before Staffell departed to join Humpy Bong, leaving the band with only a catalogue of nine songs: Smile reunited for several songs on 22 December 1992. Taylor's band The Cross were headliners and he brought May and Staffell on to play "Earth" and "If I Were a Carpenter".
  • 1967
    Age 17
    In 1967, he went to London to study dentistry at the London Hospital Medical College; but, he soon became bored of dentistry and, after changing to biology, obtained a B.Sc.
    More Details Hide Details By the time News of the World was released, Taylor met his future girlfriend Dominique Beyrand. She was working for Richard Branson at the time, who was at the helm of Queen's free concert at Hyde Park. They lived together from 1980–1987, raising their two children; Felix Luther and Rory Eleanor. They decided to get married for reasons relating to his estate, to protect his children's interest in the future. At the time, Taylor was seeing another girl, Debbie Leng (also seen in the "Breakthru" video); he moved in with her a month after his marriage of convenience to Dominique. Before Freddie Mercury's death, Roger and Debbie had their first child, Rufus Tiger, who was born in March 1991. He ended up having two more children with Debbie; Tiger Lily (1994) and Lola Daisy May (2000).
  • 1949
    Born on July 26, 1949.
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