Happy Birthday to Samuel Lawrence “Larry” Taylor – born June 26, 1942!
Samuel Lawrence “Larry” Taylor (born June 26, 1942) is an American bass guitarist, best known for his work as a member of Canned Heat from 1967. Before joining Canned Heat he had been a session bassist for The Monkees and Jerry Lee Lewis. He is the younger brother of Mel Taylor, long-time drummer for The Ventures.
Life and career
Taylor was born in New York, New York. His mother was Jewish and his father was a “WASP” from Tennessee. Taylor played bass guitar in The Gamblers, one of the first rock groups to play instrumental surf music. Its personnel also included Elliot Ingber, a future member of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention, Fraternity of Man and Captain Beefheart’s The Magic Band; Bruce Johnston, half of the Bruce and Terry duo with Terry Melcher from 1962–66 and longtime “sixth” member of The Beach Boys, for a time brother Mel Taylor, and guitarist-songwriter-bandleader Derry Weaver, who would record and perform in several capacities during the early 1960s. The Gamblers had a local hit in the Los Angeles area with “Moon Dawg” and Taylor played on the recording.
Taylor played with Canned Heat from 1967 to 1970, and appeared with them at various festivals including the Monterey International Pop Festival and Woodstock .
His band nickname was “The Mole.” In addition to playing bass, he also played lead guitar on occasion. An example can be heard on the track “Down In the Gutter, But Free,” on the album Hallelujah. In 1969, due to a dispute with Taylor, Henry Vestine left the band. Guitarist Harvey Mandel filled the void as the band’s lead guitarist. In 1970, when John Mayall moved to Los Angeles, Taylor and Mandel quit Canned Heat to join him in the Bluesbreakers. After the Bluesbreakers tours, Taylor played briefly with the Sugarcane Harris Band (later called Pure Food and Drug Act).