Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Teresa Taylor, Longtime Drummer for Butthole Surfers, Dead at 60

Teresa Taylor, a longtime drummer for the punk-rock band Butthole Surfers, has died. She was 60.

The death of Taylor, who was also known as Teresa Nervosa, was announced on social media Monday by her former bandmates.

"Teresa Taylor passed away peacefully this weekend after a long battle with lung disease. She will live in our hearts forever. RIP, dear friend," the band wrote in a statement.

Her partner Cheryl Curtice also shared the news on Facebook, writing that Taylor "passed away clean and sober, peacefully in her sleep."

"She was so brave, even in the face of her horrible disease," Curtice wrote. "We were all fortunate to have her beautiful, strong spirit in our lives. She will be forever missed... I love you, beloved Teresa."

Taylor announced in November 2021 that she'd been diagnosed with end-stage lung disease, but was staying upbeat.

"My situation is perfect, really. I live alone in my little apartment. It's easy to stay clean and organized. My son, Snoopy the Cat is a constant companion," she wrote. "I don't have cancer or any harsh treatments. I know I smoked like a chimney and this is to be expected. My spirits are up. I broke my arm when I fell and wish I had something for the pain, but otherwise I'm pretty comfortable."

A native of Arlington, Texas, Taylor joined Butthole Surfers in 1983 after a jam session with singer Gibby Haynes. She said the two were "bonding" when Haynes asked if she wanted to join the band and play drums alongside King Coffey.

"I was like, 'Gibby, can you, in my lifetime, can you get me to Paris?' And he said, 'Yes, I can,'" Taylor recalled. "So I called my mom and I said, 'Mom, my ship's come in!'"

In 2014, on the 30th anniversary of Psychic... Powerless... Another Man's Sac, band member Paul Leary opened up about why they band decided to have two percussionists.

"It was definitely fun to behold," Leary said at the time. "When King first joined our band, he didn't have much in the way of a drum kit. He had a snare, a couple of toms, and a cymbal. Having the second drummer really took that concept to the next level."
Though Taylor left the group in 1989, she joined them again for touring in the mid-2000s.

“I only found out much later when I got into therapy, but it’s not necessarily a natural state for five or six people to eat every meal together, live together, have one person carry the money and dole it out," she told Spin in 1996 of her departure.

She also told the Austin Chronicle in 2008 that she left the band due to various health concerns.

"I didn't want to leave the band, but I really wasn't well. I was flipping out, drinking too much and all that," she said. "I had developed a really big fear of flying. I always thought the plane was going to crash. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. I started taking Prozac and trying to get better, trying to find someone who could help me."

After leaving the band, Taylor was diagnosed with an aneurysm and underwent brain surgery. She later developed strobe light-induced seizures.

She also had a small but memorable role in the 1990 Richard Linklater film Slacker as a woman trying to sell Madonna's pap smear.

Haynes paid tribute to Taylor on Instagram, writing: "In days of old when nights were bold….see you when I see you sweetheart”

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