Tributes paid to Blackburn musician

Peter Taylor

Peter Taylor

First published in News
Last updated

TRIBUTES have been paid to a Blackburn musician who played drums for Marty Wilde and went on to hit the charts with his own band in South Africa.

Peter Taylor, who has died aged 66, played in various bands in Blackburn in the 1960s, before jetting out to Johannesburg, where his band Copperfield had a number two hit with a cover of Hot Chocolate’s ‘So you win again’.

He also found work as a comedian and actor, and was a member of the entertainment crew that helped save hundreds of passengers when the Greek-owned cruise liner MTS Oceanos sunk in the Indian Ocean in 1991.

The dad-of-four started his career as the lead singer of Blackburn bands Take 5 and Weather, who were popular acts on the North West club circuit, before teaming up with rock ‘n’ roller Marty Wilde in 1966.

In 1971 he almost joined heavy rockers Deep Purple, but Dave Coverdale and Glen Hughes joined instead, before he was offered the chance to form Copperfield and fly to South Africa on a six month tour.

He ended staying in Johannesburg until he moved back to England about four years ago, to live near his son Christian, just outside Bristol.

Christian, 47, said: “When we were growing up in Dewhurst Street in Blackburn I remember a constant stream of musicians at our house. He was always the black sheep and certainly lived the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle - it was the 1970s and you could never tie him down.

“As a child I struggled with it and never understood why he wasn’t around, but I always wanted to get to know him, and we became very close when my daughter was born in 2003 - he wanted to be a good grandfather. Some people would say he was thoughtless but he was extremely talented and entertained millions of people. I suppose it was our loss but everybody else’s gain. I know he was very kind and part of it was that he would always say yes to everybody, which sometimes meant he let people down.”

Peter had recently recovered from throat cancer but died from pneumonia on July 21 after picking up a chest infection.

He also leaves sons Marcus, 44, and Jade, 34, daughter Victoria, 45, and six grandchildren.

Comments (12)

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12:57pm Sat 23 Aug 14

ConcernedOssy says...

Rip Pete,many happy days in the sixties, egg boxes and launderette on bottomgate spring to mind.
Rip Pete,many happy days in the sixties, egg boxes and launderette on bottomgate spring to mind. ConcernedOssy
  • Score: 46

7:22pm Sat 23 Aug 14

juanbbien says...

I always knew Peter as the singing drummer with the Electones and Weather,not a front of stage singer
I always knew Peter as the singing drummer with the Electones and Weather,not a front of stage singer juanbbien
  • Score: 34

7:35pm Sat 23 Aug 14

juanbbien says...

Glen Hughes was a singer/bass player and David Coverdale lead singer so why would Peter who was a singing drummer be considered for these positions,do some research Telegraph before you write these articles
Glen Hughes was a singer/bass player and David Coverdale lead singer so why would Peter who was a singing drummer be considered for these positions,do some research Telegraph before you write these articles juanbbien
  • Score: -32

8:05pm Sat 23 Aug 14

Shorty Medlocke says...

juanbbien wrote:
Glen Hughes was a singer/bass player and David Coverdale lead singer so why would Peter who was a singing drummer be considered for these positions,do some research Telegraph before you write these articles
Have a look at this
http://www.jamally.c
o.za/petertaylor.htm

It seems Purple's management did approach him to replace Ian Gillan, and a few rehearsals were undertaken. However, the dates seem a bit wrong, because Gillan didn't resign until 1973 and Coverdale and Hughes joined at the end of that year. Peter Taylor did later sing in Quatermass II, alongside members of Gillan's later band, Mick Underwood and Bernie Torme, as well as with Purple's original bassist Nick Simper.
[quote][p][bold]juanbbien[/bold] wrote: Glen Hughes was a singer/bass player and David Coverdale lead singer so why would Peter who was a singing drummer be considered for these positions,do some research Telegraph before you write these articles[/p][/quote]Have a look at this http://www.jamally.c o.za/petertaylor.htm It seems Purple's management did approach him to replace Ian Gillan, and a few rehearsals were undertaken. However, the dates seem a bit wrong, because Gillan didn't resign until 1973 and Coverdale and Hughes joined at the end of that year. Peter Taylor did later sing in Quatermass II, alongside members of Gillan's later band, Mick Underwood and Bernie Torme, as well as with Purple's original bassist Nick Simper. Shorty Medlocke
  • Score: 37

8:07pm Sat 23 Aug 14

Shorty Medlocke says...

http://www.jamally.c
o.za/petertaylor.htm
http://www.jamally.c o.za/petertaylor.htm Shorty Medlocke
  • Score: 35

8:11pm Sat 23 Aug 14

Shorty Medlocke says...

And indeed, Deep Purple's current keyboardist Don Airey. So Mr Taylor was obviously well connected.
And indeed, Deep Purple's current keyboardist Don Airey. So Mr Taylor was obviously well connected. Shorty Medlocke
  • Score: 35

3:23am Sun 24 Aug 14

woolywords says...

Am old..
Still sat here, saying, Pete who?
Never heard of him..
Like George Best's second liver, I suppose,
well missed.
I don't cook liver, myself.
Died at 66?
Still The Stones are still going..
as are Liberty cap mushrooms..
...'who wants to live, forever'?
Only the good die young..
Am old.. Still sat here, saying, Pete who? Never heard of him.. Like George Best's second liver, I suppose, well missed. I don't cook liver, myself. Died at 66? Still The Stones are still going.. as are Liberty cap mushrooms.. ...'who wants to live, forever'? Only the good die young.. woolywords
  • Score: -43

7:56pm Sun 24 Aug 14

rggraham1947 says...

Shorty Medlocke wrote:
juanbbien wrote: Glen Hughes was a singer/bass player and David Coverdale lead singer so why would Peter who was a singing drummer be considered for these positions,do some research Telegraph before you write these articles
Have a look at this http://www.jamally.c o.za/petertaylor.htm It seems Purple's management did approach him to replace Ian Gillan, and a few rehearsals were undertaken. However, the dates seem a bit wrong, because Gillan didn't resign until 1973 and Coverdale and Hughes joined at the end of that year. Peter Taylor did later sing in Quatermass II, alongside members of Gillan's later band, Mick Underwood and Bernie Torme, as well as with Purple's original bassist Nick Simper.
That's a hell of a CV for someone I never heard of!
[quote][p][bold]Shorty Medlocke[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]juanbbien[/bold] wrote: Glen Hughes was a singer/bass player and David Coverdale lead singer so why would Peter who was a singing drummer be considered for these positions,do some research Telegraph before you write these articles[/p][/quote]Have a look at this http://www.jamally.c o.za/petertaylor.htm It seems Purple's management did approach him to replace Ian Gillan, and a few rehearsals were undertaken. However, the dates seem a bit wrong, because Gillan didn't resign until 1973 and Coverdale and Hughes joined at the end of that year. Peter Taylor did later sing in Quatermass II, alongside members of Gillan's later band, Mick Underwood and Bernie Torme, as well as with Purple's original bassist Nick Simper.[/p][/quote]That's a hell of a CV for someone I never heard of! rggraham1947
  • Score: 27

3:38pm Mon 25 Aug 14

juanbbien says...

I see my article about the telegraph featuring a photo of some guitars and not one of Peter Has been removed and the telegraph as now replaced it with a photo,but to be honest it's not a good representation there are a lot better ones of him,looking at that one I wouldn't have recognised him.
I see my article about the telegraph featuring a photo of some guitars and not one of Peter Has been removed and the telegraph as now replaced it with a photo,but to be honest it's not a good representation there are a lot better ones of him,looking at that one I wouldn't have recognised him. juanbbien
  • Score: 19

4:01pm Mon 25 Aug 14

ConcernedOssy says...

Thanks for the better picture LT, but I think most people in Blackburn would have recognised a picture of him when he was younger. That being said anyone who knew him as Pete Taylor, vocalist/drummer wouldn't have a problem. R I P Peter. Condolences to your family. Very sad premature departure of an extremely dedicated and talented performer from our town. A true Pro.
Thanks for the better picture LT, but I think most people in Blackburn would have recognised a picture of him when he was younger. That being said anyone who knew him as Pete Taylor, vocalist/drummer wouldn't have a problem. R I P Peter. Condolences to your family. Very sad premature departure of an extremely dedicated and talented performer from our town. A true Pro. ConcernedOssy
  • Score: 27

11:51pm Mon 25 Aug 14

chrisptee says...

Thank you to everyone who came to my Dad's wake, it was great to see so many old faces. The last time I saw them they were so young.
Peter would have been proud, we had a laugh and a joke, it's what he wanted.
Sorry to those who missed it, or didn't know he'd had his voice taken away (Due to smoking, of course).

He was very courageous, he never moaned, just got on with it and made people laugh.

Thanks for your positive comments.
Thank you to everyone who came to my Dad's wake, it was great to see so many old faces. The last time I saw them they were so young. Peter would have been proud, we had a laugh and a joke, it's what he wanted. Sorry to those who missed it, or didn't know he'd had his voice taken away (Due to smoking, of course). He was very courageous, he never moaned, just got on with it and made people laugh. Thanks for your positive comments. chrisptee
  • Score: 14

8:43pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Gatkiepe says...

juanbbien wrote:
Glen Hughes was a singer/bass player and David Coverdale lead singer so why would Peter who was a singing drummer be considered for these positions,do some research Telegraph before you write these articles
Dude Peter auditioned as the singer and he spent time with Ian Paice laying down some vocals then the definite job to South Africa came and he went. I met him in 1974 in Durban South Africa and have been friends ever since. R.I.P Peter
[quote][p][bold]juanbbien[/bold] wrote: Glen Hughes was a singer/bass player and David Coverdale lead singer so why would Peter who was a singing drummer be considered for these positions,do some research Telegraph before you write these articles[/p][/quote]Dude Peter auditioned as the singer[lead] and he spent time with Ian Paice laying down some vocals then the definite job to South Africa came and he went. I met him in 1974 in Durban South Africa and have been friends ever since. R.I.P Peter Gatkiepe
  • Score: 1
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