Motörhead's Phil Taylor left £1.3 million in his will, but nothing at all to his wife

Photo of MOTORHEAD and Phil TAYLOR

Motörhead's drummer, Phil Taylor, left a will worth £1.3 million, but made sure his wife was excluded.

Taylor (otherwise known as Philthy Animal) died last November at the age of 61, just seven weeks before the death of Lemmy, Motörhead's frontman.

In the time leading up to Taylor's death, he was concerned that his estranged wife might try to get a share of his fortune, so his will made it very clear that she was to get nothing.

The Daily Mirror reported that the pair had married 15 years earlier, but their relationship broke down almost immediately, and she left a few weeks later.

The Daily Mail reported that Taylor had tried to track her down, so he could divorce her before he died. He even employed a private investigator, but with no success. As a precaution, he mentioned her in his will, to note that they had had "no contact... since shortly after the date of our marriage."

Weeks before he died, he secured a divorce on the basis of the years they had spent apart.

Most of his estate went to his two sisters, Linda Taylor-Fry and Helen Greenwood.

Unexpected wills

It's not the first time something unexpected has shown up in a celebrity will. Over the years, some famous faces have included some truly surprising things in their wills. Five of the oddest include:

1. Dusty Springfield
The devoted cat lover wanted to be sure someone would care for her pet after her death, so she put into her will that her cat must be cared for, fed with baby food, and played her songs.

2. Alexander McQueen
For the fashion designer, his dogs were his passion, so he left £50,000 in his will to be spent on caring for his pets after his death.

3. Gene Roddenberry
Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that the creator of Star Trek decided to use his death as an excuse to go to space. He left instructions in his will that his ashes should be sent to a satellite orbiting earth. This was carried out in 1997.

4. Houdini
One of the oddest wills was from the escapologist who felt certain he would return from the grave. He gave his wife a secret message, and said she should hold a séance every year. He would contact her from the afterlife and use the code so she would know it was him and tell the world. He never got in touch.

5. Robert Louis Stevenson
In a lovely quirk, he left his birthday to a friend, Annie H Ide - who had apparently always been put out at being born on Christmas Day. He asked her to treat the 13 November with "moderation and humanity... the said birthday not being so young as it once was".

While all this may give us ideas for unusual things to put in our wills, there's something we could all stand to learn from this: if we want something specific to happen to our estate after we die, we need to make a will. Even if it's something very straightforward - like leaving everything to your other half - you need to put it in writing.

If we fail to do so, our estate will be divided according to very rigid rules, and there will be no chance for you to see your family looked after - let alone have your ashes sent to space or your cat fed with babyfood.

The 10 most expensive music videos of all time
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Motörhead's Phil Taylor left £1.3 million in his will, but nothing at all to his wife
The video was directed by Mark Romanek, featuring the siblings escaping from earth and all its media stresses on a very white space ship. It cost an astonishing $7 million back in 1995. Nowadays that works out at roughly $10.5 million. The lighting alone was said to have cost $175,000, and the computer-generated spaceship was hardly a bargain either. The fact that the whole shoot took 11 days meant the costs escalated.
Madonna's 2002 video for her James Bond theme song was directed by Swedish outfit Traktor and cost $6.1 million at the time. That's $7.8 million in today's money. The Bond-style imprisonment, and subsequent fencing duel featuring Madonna fighting herself, meant that every shot of the film involved video effects.

Madonna chose to express herself through the medium of a $5 million video directed by David Fincher (who went on to direct Fight Club and The Panic Room). That works out as $9.3 million today. The video featured a host of controversial representations of power and gender - as well as a city full of skyscrapers - which was expensively produced. It was apparently inspired by the 1927 film Metropolis.

In 1995 Madonna blew $5 million on the video for Bedtime Story, directed by Mark Romanek, the king of expensive videos. That would be worth $7.5 million today. The enormous number of digital effects means that although shooting lasted six days, post-production dragged on for week after expensive week. The final result was one of her most experimental, and is kept by a number of art museums and galleries.
Michael Jackson's 1991 hit came with a John Landis video which cost $4 million to make, which is $6.7 million in today's money. For his cash he got appearances from Macaulay Culkin and Tyra Banks, and a whole heap of computer generated transformations. Turning a panther into Michael Jackson doesn't come cheap.
The Guns 'n' Roses video was directed by Andy Morahan in 1993 and cost $4 million. That works out at $6.4 million today. The huge cost has something to do with the fact that the video is ten minutes long, and attempts to tell the story of separation and divorce through epic scenes. These include the band boarding a transport aircraft, Axl Rose jumping off the deck of an oil tanker, and Slash rising from the bottom of the ocean.
The Puff Daddy track featuring Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rymes featured a video by Marcus Nispel, which cost $2.7 million in 1993. That's $3.8 million today. It's another epic, at eight minutes long, and includes appearances from Dennis Hopper and Danny DeVito. The creation of the streets of 3002 AD, building a helicopter and blowing it up, the stunt men and pyrotechnics were all major costs.
MC Hammer's 1991 hit had a video by Rupert Wainwright, which cost $2.5 million at the time. That's $4 million in today's money. Hammer gained a reputation for knowing how to spend money, and this video is no exception. The appearances by everyone from James Brown to James Belushi,the special effects and the pyrotechnics all add up.
Mariah Carey (featuring Jay-Z) spent $2,5 million on a Brett Ratner video in 1999. That's $3.4 million today. It has been called a 'mini chic flick', and features Carey both as herself, and as the woman seeing her boyfriend in secret. The sets (including renting a cinema and a mansion), the cast, the appearance of Jerry O'Connell, and the animated sequence all added to the cost.
Busta Rhymes (featuring Janet Jackson) spent $2.4 million on a Hype Williams video in 1999 - which is worth $3.9 million today. A major cost has to be the computer morphing again, which sees the singers repeatedly morph into various forms. Busta's glass costume was also said to have cost $40,000.

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