Sudden death of Walk Off the Earth’s Mike Taylor a ‘tragic reminder’ of life’s fragility, Sarah Blackwood says | The Star
Burlington, Ont.’s Walk Off the Earth plan to continue their world tour without the late Mike Taylor after his death late last month, but besides that and this weekend’s tribute concert, the band’s Sarah Blackwood says the future is unclear.
The show Sunday at Burlington’s Civic Square, starting at 4:30 p.m., will feature Taylor’s mourning bandmates as well as acoustic performances by members of the Barenaked Ladies, Monster Truck, USS, Saint Alvia and more. Portions of the show are expected to be streamed on Walk Off the Earth’s Facebook page.
Mike Taylor of Walk off the Earth, known as “Beard Guy,” died at the end of December. (ONE IN A MILLION MEDIA)
Fans are also encouraged to make a donation to the charity MusiCounts, of which Taylor — who leaves behind two children — was a strong supporter.
The Juno-winning band’s Sarah Blackwood responded to a few questions provided by the Star via email.
Fans were clearly intrigued by Mike as “Beard Guy,” but that is a far cry from knowing him, being in a band and touring with him and so forth. What would you, as a friend and bandmate, like the public to know about Taylor’s life and his personality?
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He had a huge heart. He was kind. He was a great friend. He was living his best life.
What did he bring to the creative process?
Ha ha, many long discussions on his epic Beard Guy moments.
When Joe Strummer died at age 50, it came as a shock to fans and friends alike because its cause was an undiagnosed heart defect; no one could have seen it coming. Likewise, Taylor’s passing due to natural causes was stunning because it seemed to come in the prime of life. Is there anything further you are comfortable telling fans and Star readers about the tragic event’s cause, if only to dispel the sense of confusion?
He was a healthy man that shouldn’t have died. He took great care of himself and it’s completely not fair that this happened to him. It’s a tragic reminder that life is a precious gift that can be taken from us at any moment.
The band thanked fans, on Facebook, for “the amount of love you’ve shown us over the loss of our beloved Beard Guy.” The official fan page shows, for example, a homemade memorial T-shirt made for a fan’s daughter, and at least one fan from the Netherlands says he’s flying in for Sunday’s concert. Was there a particular fan tribute that touched hearts in the band?
We have experienced so much love pouring in from fans around the world. Taylor is so loved by so many people. We call them our WOTElings, and they are the most dedicated and sweet fans on the planet. Taylor loved the fans so much.
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Have Taylor’s mourning bandmates decided yet what this means for the future of Walk Off the Earth?
Right now we’re just trying to get through the day and make some kind of sense of this tragedy. We plan to follow through with our world tour by bringing a memorial tribute on the road with us. After that, we’re not really sure. Again, life is unpredictable and things can change in the blink of an eye.