Alvin Taylor

Alvin Taylor (born March 26, 1953) is an American drummer, producer and musical director, who is best known for his work with Elton John, Eric Burdon, George Harrison, Billy Preston and Bob Welch.

Alvin Taylor
Years active1970s - present
LabelsCapitol Records
Associated actsElton John, George Harrison, Eric Burdon, Sly & the Family Stone, Bill Withers, Bob Welch

Early life and career

Alvin Taylor started playing drums at the age of 5. He played in various local bands and began his professional career at the age of 14, when he started touring with Little Richard.[1] As part of Richard's band, Taylor played with Jimi Hendrix, Billy Preston and opened a show Elvis Presley. He went on to play with PG&E on their number one record, Are You Ready. He turned down Jerry Goldstein's offer to play in the famous funk band War, but joined Eric Burdon's band after Burdon left War.[1]

The Eric Burdon Band released a hard rock-packed album called Sun Secrets,[1] which shows Taylor on the cover. Taylor was also featured on their unreleased album Mirage (released in 2008), Don Kirshner's Rock Concert (on February 9, 1974), and is mentioned in Burdon's 2001 book Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood.

Taylor was on the first ever airing of Saturday Night Live on October 11, 1975.[1] Soon after, Taylor was asked by ex-Beatles guitarist George Harrison to both live in his castle and record his album Thirty Three & 1/3 (1976).[1] He played on two albums by Billy Preston, Billy Preston (1976) and A Whole New Thing (1977). He then joined Bob Welch's band and recorded the album French Kiss (1977), which featured the hit single "Ebony Eyes".[2]

During the following years he appeared on albums by artists such as: Elton John, Aalon, Jesse Colin Young, Les McCann, Lauren Wood, Gil-Scott Heron, The Originals, Syreeta, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, Keni Burke, Stargard, Sammy Hagar, Billy Thorpe, America, Cher, Natalie Cole, Sly & the Family Stone, Bill Withers and on two more records by Bob Welch. On Danny O'Keefe's record American Roulette (1977) he appeared besides Reggie McBride, Mike Melvoin and David Lindley.

In 1979, he appeared on Sammy Hagar's single (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay, featuring Leland Sklar, Barry Goudreau and Steve Cropper, who originally played on the Otis Redding version. Later that year, he appeared on Cher's album Prisoner beside Toto members Steve Lukather, Jeff Porcaro, David Hungate, David Paich and many others.

In 1980 he appeared once again with Lukather and Paich on Elton John's album 21 at 33. Other notable musicians include Bill Champlin, Chuck Findley and Lenny Castro. Taylor then appeared on Bob Welch's album Man Overboard. In 1981, he appeared on the album 1234 by The Rolling Stones member Ron Wood.[3]

Since 2011 he is working with Ukulele Ray and regularly plays at NAMM. Since 2013 he tours with "The Gypsy Experience".


Bill Withers

  • Menagerie (1977)
  • The Complete Sussex and Columbia Albums (2012, Compilation)
  • Original Album Classics (2013, Compilation)

Billy Preston

Bob Welch

Elton John

Eric Burdon

Sly & the Family Stone

Other Credits


  1. Amendola, Billy (March 19, 2014). "Classic Tracks With George Harrison, Elton John, and Beyond". Modern Drummer Publications. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  2. Taylor, Alvin. "ALLMUSIC". Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  3. Taylor, Alvin. "Alvin Taylor Discography". Discogs. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
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