Former DRIVE Singer DAVID TAYLOR Dead At 44

According to, David Taylor, the former lead vocalist for '80s hard rock band DRIVE, was killed in a road accident late last month. While driving along a San Antonio interstate on June 25, Taylor lost control of his vehicle after a tire blew out, causing him to crash. He was airlifted to an area hospital where he died of his injuries five days later. He was 44 years old.

Formed in Houston, Texas by Rick Chavez and Mercy Valdez, DRIVE found its voice in a young David Taylor, just barely out of his teens. In the mid-'80s, the band moved to Los Angeles, which was quickly becoming the epicenter of the metal scene. Winning a radio contest with its song "I Need The Nights", DRIVE landed on the "Best Of The West" compilation which was released on Rampage Records. Rampage soon signed the band, and in July of 1988, released their debut, "Characters In Time". The LP received tremendous reviews from the industry's top hard rock press, including the coveted five-K rating from Kerrang! magazine. The album also received solid airplay from hard rock stations around the country, including Los Angeles powerhouse KNAC.

What separated DRIVE from the other bands of the Sunset Strip was their intelligent lyrics, intricate musicianship, and, of course, Taylor's suburb voice that fell somewhere between Ronnie James Dio and QUEENSRĊ¸CHE's Geoff Tate. And what endeared them to true metal critics and fans alike was that they were more IRON MAIDEN than POISON, more JUDAS PRIEST than WINGER.

"Characters In Time" was followed by the more mature and sonically advanced, "Diablero" on Zoo Records. Unfortunately, a shake-up at the label, along with the dawn of the metal-killing "grunge" scene, left the album without much of a push, so DRIVE's recording career was put on hold as the bandmembers moved back to Texas, where Taylor was living in recent years.

For more information on David or to share your memories, go to this location.


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