Pete Still/RedfernsLongtime Canned Heat bassist Larry “The Mole” Taylor has died. According to a Facebook post from the band’s manager, Taylor passed away Monday at his home in Lake Balboa, California, after a long battle with cancer. He was 77.
Taylor was part of Canned Heat’s most famous lineup, which included Alan Wilson, Bob Hite, Henry Vestine and “Fito” de la Parra. Taylor’s death leaves de la Parra as the sole surviving member of that lineup, which performed at both the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and at Woodstock in 1969. Canned Heat’s best-known songs are “Goin’ Up the Country” and “On the Road Again.”
Prior to joining Canned Heat, Taylor — the brother of late Ventures drummer Mel Taylor — toured with Jerry Lee Lewis and was a session player who contributed to records by artists as diverse as The Monkees, JJ Cale, Albert King and Buddy Guy.
Taylor left Canned Heat in 1970, be rejoined the group in 1978 and played with the band off and on until his passing. He also recorded and performed with Tom Waits, John Lee Hooker, John Mayall and John Hammond Jr.
As his manager notes, “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…music was his religion!’”
Taylor survived by his wife Andrea, his son Danny and daughters Rebecca and Molly.