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Queen drummer Roger Taylor: 'I think about death more with age - but I'm still having a good time’

Danny Thompson
Contributor
Drummer Roger Taylor of Queen attends a news conference at the MGM Resorts aviation hangar to kick off the group's 10-date limited engagement, "The Crown Jewels," on August 28, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Queen drummer Roger Taylor has admitted he thinks about death more with age - but insists he still tries to ‘have a good time’.

Talking on Friday, his 70th birthday, Taylor said: “As you get older you think about death more. When the end does come it would be nice if it was unexpected. It often is.”

He added: “You should live each day and make sure you have a good time. Every time you don’t have a good time, you’re missing out.

British rock group Queen, from left to right, bassist John Deacon, drummer Roger Taylor, singer Freddie Mercury and guitarist Brian May, 1985. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)

“It’s a journey… and it is coming up to the end. Everybody is leaving at some point. As we’re not getting any younger, you should start thinking about the tail end, or the September of one’s years.

“You mustn’t be afraid of talking about serious things. I don’t think anybody in their 20s thinks about that sort of thing.”

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The drummer, who was also renowned for falsetto singing voice, said turning 70 made him think about friends who had died including George Michael, David Bowie, and Rick Parfitt.

He said: “We’re all getting older and we’re going to drop off the perch. Inevitably one is forced to confront the fact. As David Bowie said, ‘I embrace age’. I’m not sure he meant it. He said, ‘The only drawback is that the dying part is so s**t’.”

David Bowie (1947 - 2016) performs on stage at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness, Wembley Stadium, London, 20th April 1992. Queen drummer Roger Taylor performs behind. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)

Talking of Bowie, who died in January 2016 aged 69, Taylor said: “Losing David affected me. He was always very much a godlike hero to me, an A1 star genius.

“I didn’t quite believe it at first. I didn’t accept the fact he was no longer around and how bravely he dealt with it in the end. It was extraordinary.

“What a talent – and the fact that he almost engineered his death as a spectacle in [stage musical] Lazarus, and in the very scary videos he made for the last two tracks. It was really quite something.

“I don’t think anybody had been that graphic about their own death. It was harrowing.”

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Taylor went on to call 2016 “a terrible year”, with the aforementioned deaths of Bowie, Status Quo singer and guitarist Rick Parfitt, and George Michael, who both died in December of that year.

He said of his musician pals: said: “He [Parfitt] was an old friend from the 80s. We were close.

“And George was a terrific shock. He was a talented, troubled guy.”