Roger Taylor health: Queen star on ’embracing age’ in his 70s – ‘the dying part is s***’

Roger Taylor on working with David Bowie and Queen

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When May, 74, suffered from a heart attack, the band’s tour was cancelled, leaving fans disappointed but rightly concerned for the guitarist’s health. At the time Taylor echoed these concerns, saying: “It was quite a scare. He had a real scare. It’s been strange. We were struck doubly. Our manager had a pretty major heart attack too. It’s been a very weird year for us in all kinds of ways.” But on the lead up to his own 70th birthday back in 2019, the drummer said that he is taking a leaf out of David Bowie’s book and “embracing age”.

In an interview, Taylor revealed that the older he gets the more he thinks about death, but still tries to “live each day” and makes sure he has a good time.

He said: “Every time you don’t have a good time, you’re missing out.

“It’s a journey… and it is coming up to the end. Everybody is leaving at some point.

“As you get older you think about it more. When the end does come it would be nice if it was unexpected. It often is.”

In fact, in an October 2021 interview, Taylor said that his “greatest fear” was boredom, providing more sense to his refreshing outlook on life and death.

He continued to say: “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.

“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’.”

Having not suffered from any notable health ailments over the years, Taylor revealed that his most “unappealing habit” was drinking. He said: “I like red wine,” a fact that according to his wife, Sarina Taylor, can be “too much”.

With no evidence to suggest that Taylor drinks too much or has a problem with alcohol, for many others alcohol addiction and alcoholism can become a serious problem that affects their health.

In fact, according to statistics by Alcohol Change, 24 percent of adults in England and Scotland regularly drink over the Chief Medical Officer’s low-risk guidelines. In addition, 27 percent of drinkers in Great Britain binge drink on their heaviest drinking days.

The NHS warns that alcohol is a “powerful chemical” that can have a wide range of adverse effects on almost “every part of the body” including the brain, bones and heart.

Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems including:

  • High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems
  • Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, oesophagus, voice box, liver, colon, and rectum
  • Weakening of the immune system, increasing the chances of getting sick
  • Learning and memory problems, including dementia and poor school performance
  • Mental health problems, including depression and anxiety
  • Social problems, including family problems, job-related problems, and unemployment
  • Alcohol use disorders, or alcohol dependence.

In fact, even in the short-term, drinking large amounts of alcohol can cause adverse effects including an increased heart rate, impaired reaction time, impaired vision and in some cases alcohol poisoning.

This will leave individuals feeling badly dehydrated in the morning, which may cause a severe headache. The excess amount of alcohol in the system can also upset digestion, leading to symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and indigestion.

Although it may be difficult to see the signs of someone who may be an alcoholic or becoming too dependent on alcohol, Drinkaware explains that someone who has an impaired control over alcohol use gives increasing priority to alcohol, and has unwanted physical or mental effects from drinking, which are the three common symptoms of an alcohol dependency.

In many cases, the first step of treating alcohol dependence is the drinker acknowledging there is a problem. Treatment can also include some long-term options including:

  • Detoxification (also known as “detox”) can be a key stage of treatment. Detox involves stopping drinking completely, whilst under medical supervision, so that the body can adjust to being without alcohol. During this time, a person may experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can be offered to help change negative thought patterns which may lead to drinking
  • Pharmacological treatments (medications) can also have a role in preventing relapse for some people who are trying to abstain.

Mutual help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous can also help because of the new network of support a person gains. They can help people adjust their thinking and their attitudes to themselves and others.

However, for addicts and those wanting to cut down on their alcohol intake, the NHS warns that a problem known as kindling can occur. This is a problem that can occur following a number of episodes of withdrawal from alcohol. The severity of a person’s withdrawal symptoms may get worse each time they stop drinking, and can cause symptoms such as tremors, agitation and convulsions (seizures).

Help and advice for people with a long-term condition or their carers is also available from charities, support groups and associations. Help and advice is available 24 hours a day seven days a week on 116 123 or via email at [email protected] Or at the Drinkline on: 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am–8pm, weekends 11am–4pm).

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