Roger Taylor (born 26 July 1949) is an English musician, singer and songwriter. He is best known as the drummer of the rock band Queen, but has also served as an occasional songwriter and lead vocalist. As a drummer, he is renowned for his unique sound[1] and is considered one of the most influential rock drummers of the 1970s and 1980s.[2] As a songwriter, Taylor contributed songs to the band's albums from the very beginning, composing at least one track on every album, and (in the early days) usually singing lead vocals on his own compositions. He also wrote six of the band's hits, "Radio Ga Ga", "A Kind of Magic","Heaven For Everyone", "Breakthru", "The Invisible Man",[3] and "These Are the Days of Our Lives".[4]as well as co-writing the UK number 1's 'Under Pressure' and 'Innuendo', a track for which he wrote the lyrics and guided the overall formulation. He is also commonly known to have been the main writer on the international Top Ten hit 'One Vision', although the track is credited to the whole band. He has collaborated with such artists as Eric ClaptonRoger WatersRoger DaltreyRobert PlantPhil CollinsGenesisJimmy NailElton JohnGary NumanShakin' StevensFoo FightersAl StewartSteve VaiYoshiki HayashiCherie, and Bon Jovi. As a producer, he has produced albums byVirginia WolfJimmy Nail and Magnum. He currently resides in Guildford, Surrey, but also has a home in Helford, Cornwall.

In addition to his drum work, Taylor routinely played guitars and bass on his own songs. During the 1980s, in addition to his work with Queen, he formed a parallel band known as the Cross, in which he was the lead vocalist and the rhythm guitarist. During the early 1980s, Taylor was also a panelist on the popular UK quiz show Pop Quiz, hosted by Mike Read.

In 2005, he was voted by UK fans as the eighth greatest drummer in classic rock music history, in a poll conducted by Planet Rock Radio.[5] According to The Sunday Times Rich List he was worth £80 million or around $127 million in 2011.[6] In 2014, he appeared in The Life of Rock with Brian Pernas himself.


 [hide*1 Early life

Early life[edit]Edit

Roger Taylor was born in King's Lynn, Norfolk, 26 July 1949. Taylor moved to Truro, Cornwall, south west England, with his mother Winifred, father Michael and younger sister Clare. When he was seven years old, he and some friends formed his first band, the Bubblingover Boys, in which he played the ukulele. He briefly attended Truro Cathedral School; then, at the age of 13, he joinedTruro School as a day boy.[7] At the age of 15, Taylor became a member of the Reaction, a very busy semi-pro rock band formed mainly of boys from Truro School. In 1967, he went to London to study dentistry at the London Hospital Medical College, but he soon became bored with dentistry and, after changing to Biology, obtained a B.Sc.[8]

1968–70: Smile[edit]Edit

Main article: Smile (band)

Taylor met Brian May and Tim Staffell in 1968 after seeing an advert on a noticeboard at Imperial College for a drummer. Smile included May on lead guitar, Staffell on vocals and bass, 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:

  • "Earth" (Staffell)
  • "Step On Me" (Staffell/May) originally from May and Staffell's band 1984.
  • "Doin' Alright" (Staffell/May) (later remade for Queen's debut album)
  • "Blag" (Taylor)
  • "Polar Bear" (May)
  • "Silver Salmon" (Staffell)
  • "See What A Fool I've Been" (May, based on the song "That's How I Feel" by Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee)
  • "If I Were a Carpenter" (Tim Hardin) a cover regularly featuring in their live set.
  • "April Lady" (Lucas) a song presented to the band by Mercury Records during their second studio session.

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".[9]

1970s–present: Queen[edit]Edit

Main article: Queen (band)[1]Taylor performing with Queen in 1979.

In 1969, Taylor was working with Freddie Mercury at the Kensington Market (they were living in an apartment around the same time). Mercury, then known as Freddie Bulsara, was an avid fan of Smile. 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 band, before going on to release their debut album in 1973. Taylor is the third most credited songwriter for the band, usually contributing one or two tracks per record, and he is considered as a prominent songwriter. His compositions for Queen include:

Songs written by Taylor, but credited the band collectively (like the whole The MiracleInnuendo and most of Made in Heaven albums) and include:

  • "The Invisible Man" (The Miracle) and (Single)
  • "Breakthru" (intro written by Mercury) (The Miracle) and (Single)
  • "Innuendo" (lyrics written by Taylor) (Innuendo) and (Single)
  • "Ride the Wild Wind" (Innuendo)
  • "These Are the Days of Our Lives" (Innuendo)
  • "Let Me Live" (co-written with Deacon, May and Mercury) (Made in Heaven) and (Single)
  • "Untitled Hidden Track" (Co-created from Mercury's "It's a Beautiful Day" song, with May and David Richards (uncredited)) Made in Heaven)

Many of these feature Taylor on vocals. His voice was very recognisable, for both its high range (he would often reach an E5 in full voice during live performances) and raspiness. His extremely high falsetto, sometimes going above an 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:

1977–present: Solo career[edit]Edit

Taylor has had a productive solo career, releasing four albums. His first single was his 1977 "I Wanna Testify". He recorded it during Queen's sessions for the News of the World album. The A-side, although a cover of The Parliaments song of the same name, was completely different from the original. The B-side was a self-penned song "Turn on the TV".

His first solo album, Fun in Space, was released in 1981. 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".

His next venture, Strange Frontier, came in July 1984. 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".

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.

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's "Final Destination". 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."

In 1998 he released his fourth solo album Electric Fire. He supported it with a small tour in the spring of 1999, on which Brian May joined him at the gig in Wolverhampton. Taylor also performed one of the first Internet-gigs – for which he got a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records.[10]

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.[11] 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. It was announced in late 2012 that fans would be able to vote on which songs appeared on the new album, with the album itself slated for a September 2013 release. The album is called, 'Fun On Earth'[12]

The Cross[edit]Edit

Main article: The Cross (band)

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.

Shove It[edit]Edit

[2]Taylor performing with The Cross in 1990

After Queen's 1986 Magic Tour, the band members went their separate ways to do various solo work. Taylor decided to form a new band with whom he could tour. He had already written and recorded the album himself before finding a band to play the songs with. He eventually placed an ad for band members in a national newspaper, hinting he was a famous rock musician. The position of keyboard player was duly offered to Spike Edney after two successful Queen tours in which Edney had played. When the auditions were over, the line-up was completed by Peter Noone on bass, Clayton Moss on guitar and Josh Macrae on drums. Taylor himself would take the responsibility on lead vocals and rhythm guitar.

The first album, Shove It, was released in 1988. In Europe, Heaven for Everyone (later a Queen song) contained Freddie Mercury on lead vocals and Taylor on backing vocals. However, on the single version and American album version the roles were switched. The European CD contained an extra track (compared to cassette and LP) in The 2nd Shelf Mix, the US version having "Feel The Force" as its extra track. The band promoted hard (especially in Germany), with many TV performances of singles including an appearance at the Montreux Golden Rose festival in 1988. The tour took in dates in the UK and Germany. Three singles were released from the album: "Cowboys and Indians", "Heaven for Everyone" and "Shove It". Another single, "Manipulator," was released in 1988, but it was not included on any album. It was also the only song from the time that had joint writing credits, Taylor sharing them with Edney and Steve Strange.

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know[edit]Edit

[3]Taylor performing with The Cross in 1990.

After finishing Queen's 1989 album The Miracle, Taylor went into the studio with the rest of The Cross for the first time to record Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know. The band composed the opening track "On Top of the World Ma" with a riff bearing a resemblance to the Led Zeppelin track Whole Lotta Love. The rest of the album consisted mainly of individually written songs, except for "Power To Love" which was the result of the combined effort of Macrae, Noone and Moss. Clayton Moss sang lead vocals on his own track "Better Things", and Spike Edney played mandolin on "Final Destination", which was written by Taylor. "Final Destination" was released as a single, as were "Liar" and "Power To Love", the latter being the last single to be released in the UK by the band. "Final Destination" came with a live rendition of Taylor's song "Man on Fire" as a B-side, and "Liar" (Noone) had a brand new track, "In Charge of My Heart", which was also penned by Taylor. The 12" single and CD of "Liar" also included extended remixes of both "Liar" and "In Charge of My Heart". The instrumental section at the beginning of "In Charge of My Heart" was used as the opening to concerts on the accompanying tour. "Closer To You" (Edney) had been planned to be released in America, but never was. The group having seemingly given up on the UK market, the accompanying tour only included dates in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Ibiza. Unusual for such tours, every song from the new album was played live.

Blue Rock[edit]Edit

Made at a time when Taylor's efforts were concentrated on Queen and Mercury himself, Blue Rock gave the other members of the band a chance to take control of the upcoming album. It was in fact mostly written by Edney, who contributed three of his own tracks and contributed to four more. Once again the opening track was penned by the entire band, "Bad Attitude" was written (although not complete) by the Christmas fan club party of 1990. The album itself contained a lot of vocals not from Taylor, but mainly of Edney and Noone. Examples of this can be heard in "Put It All Down To Love" (Edney), "Life Changes" (Moss, Noone, Edney and Macrae) and "Heartland" (The B-side to Life Changes, penned by Noone). Blue Rock itself was only released in Germany (although promo copies were released in Italy and Japan), so copies are somewhat rare. "New Dark Ages" (Taylor) was released in Germany with another live version of "Man on Fire", whilst "Life Changes" was released with the B-side "Heartland". It was however immediately withdrawn due to Freddie Mercury's passing. The tour was in support of Magnum, so the concert lengths were short (45 mins.) and very few bootlegs have survived. The tour pace was rapid, covering 20 dates in one month.

Break-up of the Cross[edit]Edit

The band broke up in 1993 after performing a final show. 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.

21st century[edit]Edit

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.[13] and the "Party at the Palace" in 2002, celebrating the golden jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.[14] 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 theeleventh 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.[15] At Live Earth in 2007, Taylor opened the concert with Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters and Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers.

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". Also in that month, Taylor confirmed he is planning to tour with Taylor Hawkins, which Taylor described as a "quick tour".[16] 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".[17]

In 2011, Taylor, along with 2 other music legends, joined the advisory board of Edge Music Network. The company is innovative in their approach to connecting fans and their favorite bands.

Taylor performed in the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games on 12 August 2012.

In 2013 & 2014, Taylor served as an Executive Producer of the movie "Solitary", directed by Sasha Krane. In addition to those duties, he provided original music including the song When We Were Young and three instrumental songs which serve as incidental/background music in the film and during closing credits. Taylor also appeared as special guest for Welsh Rock artist Jayce Lewis and his project Protafield, with Taylor providing drums on the track 'Wrath' [18][19][20]

Queen + Paul Rodgers[edit]Edit

[4]2005 Queen + Paul Rodgers TourMain article: Queen + Paul Rodgers

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 vocalist ofFree 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.[21]

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".[22] 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.


[5] Queen (band) portal

Main article: Roger Taylor discographySee also: Queen discography===Solo albums[edit]===


Taylor has stated that his main influence as a rock drummer is the late John Bonham of Led Zeppelin. Speaking of Bonham, Taylor said, "The greatest rock and roll drummer of all time was John Bonham, who did things that nobody had ever even thought possible before with the drum kit. And also the greatest sound out of his drums – they sounded enormous, and just one bass drum. So fast on it that he did more with one bass drum than most people could do with three, if they could manage them. And he had technique to burn and fantastic power and tremendous feel for rock and roll".[23]

Personal life[edit]Edit

By the time News of the World was released in 1977, Taylor had 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 to 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 interests 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). In late 2002, they decided to break up. Taylor remarried on 26 August 2010, to Sarina Potgieter.[24] Taylor is also a Chelsea F.C. supporter[25] but also supported Manchester United fans who campaigned against media mogul Rupert Murdoch buying a stake into the club.


Happiness? Tour[edit]Edit

Happiness? Tour
Tour by Roger Taylor
Associated album Happiness?
Start date 28 July 1994
End date 29 January 1995
Legs 3
Shows *28 in Europe
  • 3 in Asia
  • 31 in total
Date City Country Venue
28 July 1994[A] Gosport England Walpole Park
15 September 1994 London Shepherds Bush Empire
26 September 1994 Tokyo Japan Nakano Sun Plaza
28 September 1994 Kawasaki Club Citta
30 September 1994 Nagoya Club Quatro
14 October 1994 Cologne Germany Altes Presswerk
24 October 1994 Milan Italy City Square
19 November 1994 London England Shepherds Bush Empire
20 November 1994 Cambridge The Junction
22 November 1994 Nottingham Rock City
23 November 1994 Newcastle Riverside
24 November 1994 Leeds Leeds Irish Centre
26 November 1994 Liverpool Royal Court Theatre
27 November 1994 Sheffield The Leadmill
29 November 1994 Glasgow Scotland The Garage
30 November 1994 Bristol England Bierkeller
1 December 1994 Milan Italy Mediolanum Forum
2 December 1994 Truro England City Hall
3 December 1994 Manchester Manchester University
4 December 1994 Wolverhampton Wolverhampton Civic Hall
8 December 1994[B] Paris France Europe 1 Studios
16 January 1995 Monfalcone Italy Hippodrome
17 January 1995 Schio Palazetto
18 January 1995 Genova Teatro Verdi
20 January 1995 Cesena Vidia
21 January 1995 Firenze Teatro Tenda
22 January 1995 Rome Palladium
24 January 1995 Valletta Malta Teatro Nazionale La Valetta
25 January 1995 Palermo Italy Teatro Metropolitan
26 January 1995 Catania
29 January 1995 Napoli Havana Club


  1. "A Kind of Magic"
  2. "Touch the Sky"
  3. "Everybody Hurts Sometime
  4. "Ride the Wild Wind"
  5. "Tenement Funster"
  6. "The Show Must Go On"
  7. "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall"
  8. "You Have to Be There"
  9. "I Want to Break Free"
  10. "Dr Mr Murdoch"
  11. "Foreign Sand"
  12. "Happiness"
  13. "The Key"
  14. "Revelations"
  15. "These Are the Days of Our Lives"
  16. "We Will Rock You"
  17. "Radio Ga Ga"
  18. "Old Friends"
  19. "Nazis 1994"
Festivals and other miscellaneous performances
A This concert was a part of "Gosport Festival"
B Taylor performed two concerts that day

Electric Fire Tour[edit]Edit

Electric Fire Tour
Tour by Roger Taylor
Associated album Electric Fire
Start date 24 September 1998
End date 3 April 1999
Legs 1
Shows 18 in total
Date City Country Venue
24 September 1998 Surrey England Cosford Mill
14 October 1998 London Shepherds Bush Empire
15 March 1999 Gloucester Guildhall
16 March 1999 Cardiff Wales Coal Exchange
18 March 1999 Truro England Hall For Cornwall
19 March 1999 Stoke-on-Trent The Stage
20 March 1999 Manchester Manchester University
21 March 1999 Sheffield The Leadmill
23 March 1999 Glasgow Scotland The Garage
24 March 1999 Edinburgh The Liquid Rooms
25 March 1999 Newcastle England Newcastle University
27 March 1999 Liverpool Liverpool L2
28 March 1999 Cambridge The Junction
29 March 1999 Norwich The Waterfront
30 March 1999 Wolverhampton Wolverhampton Civic Hall
31 March 1999 Nottingham Rock City
2 April 1999 Portsmouth Portsmouth Pyramids Centre
3 April 1999 London London Astoria


  1. "Interlude in Constantinople"
  2. "We Will Rock You"
  3. "Pressure On'
  4. "A Nation of Haircuts"
  5. "Believe in Yourself"
  6. "I Want to Break Free"
  7. "No More Fun"
  8. "Tonight"
  9. "A Kind of Magic"
  10. "Surrender"
  11. "Under Pressure"
  12. "London Town - C'mon Down"
  13. "I'm in Love with My Car"
  14. "Tenement Funster
  15. "Strange Frontier
  16. "Happiness"
  17. "Radio Ga Ga"


Until 2008, Taylor exclusively used Ludwig or Sleishman drum kits, or a combination of the two in the 2005 Return of the Champions Tour. In the recent Queen + Paul Rodgers 2008 The Cosmos Rocks tour he opted for a Drum Workshop kit.

DW Natural satin Maple Kit with Black Chrome Hardware Main kit on tour

  • Toms – 10"x8", 12"x 9" & 14"x11"
  • Floor Toms – 16"x 16" & 18"x16"
  • Bass Drum – 26"x 18"
  • Snare Drum – 14"x 6.5" (Ludwig Classic Maple)
  • Roto-Toms – 12" & 14" Remo

Zildjian Cymbals

  • Hi-Hats – 15" Avedis Zildjian New Beat Hats
  • Crash: 17" Dark Crash Medium Thin, 18" Dark Crash Medium Thin, 19" Dark Crash Thin
  • Ride: 20" Avedis Ping Ride
  • China: 20" Oriental China Trash

In Queen's formative years and up until circa 1984, Taylor used a mixture of Paiste and Zildjian cymbals, before permanently settling on Zildjian, which he has played exclusively ever since.

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 Karat Gold Hardware Front of stage kit Used for drum solo and I'm In Love With My Car

  • 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

Taylor favours the Vic Firth X5B American Classic Extreme 5B (length : 16 1/2" | Diameter : 0.595") as his current choice of stick.

Remo drumheads

  • Remo Ambassador Clear heads on all toms.
  • Remo Powerstroke 3 Clear on Bass Drums.
  • Remo Powerstroke 3 Coated on Snare Drum.


In 1999 Taylor became the first living person, other than members of the British Royal Family, to appear on a Royal Mail stamp, being seen behind Freddie Mercury as part of a "Great Britons" issue. This caused controversy as it was an understood rule that the only living people allowed to appear on British stamps could be members of the Royal Family.[26][27]

In 2002, Taylor appeared on the "Twelve Drummers Drumming" Christmas card in the "Twelve Days of Christmas" set sold at Woolworths to raise money for the NSPCC – alongside the "other"Roger Taylor, the drummer for Duran Duran.[28]

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