Larry Taylor, the founding bassist of 1960s L.A. boogie rock band Canned Heat has died at age 77. A spokesperson for the group confirmed on Tuesday that Taylor passed away at his home in Lake Balboa, California, on Monday (August 19th) after a 12-year battle with cancer.
The New York native was best known for his work with Canned Heat, whose 1967 self-titled debut, featuring covers of blues classics by Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon and Robert Johnson, was released just after the band’s appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival, where they performed alongside a stacked lineup of The Who, Grateful Dead, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Otis Redding and Jefferson Airplane.
A tireless session player, Taylor appeared on more than half a dozen albums by The Monkees, blues icon John Mayall and Tom Waits, as well as releases from Albert King, Leo Kottke, The Blasters and Sunnyland Slim. “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 the music’… music was his religion,” manager, friend and producer Skip Taylor said in a statement. “He influenced many of us in different ways and he will be missed by many throughout the music industry.”
Listen to one of his creations below.