Fuller Up The Dead Musician Directory 
Philip "Taylor" Kramer
Philip Kramer
 February 12, 1995
Age 42
Mysterious Circumstances 
Suicide or Silkwood?:  
Van Plunge 
News Items 

 News Items
Philip "Taylor" Kramer, bassist

                                The mysterious disappearance of one-time Iron Butterfly bassist 
                                Philip "Taylor" Kramer, 42, has come to a tragic conclusion with 
                                the May 29, 1999, discovery by hikers of his 1993 Ford Aerostar 
                                van at the bottom of a Malibu, Calif., ravine. Skeletal remains 
                                found inside and near the vehicle were confirmed through dental 
                                records to be those of Kramer. 

                                Kramer's Feb. 12, 1995, disappearance has been the subject of 
                                numerous TV shows due both to his connection with Iron Butterfly 
                                and his involvement with government projects, lending X-Files–like 
                                conspiracy overtones to his vanishing. Unfortunately, most reports 
                                have given the mistaken impression that he was with Iron Butterfly 
                                during the band's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" days when in fact he 
                                was only with the band during a mid-70s re-formation. Most 
                                glaring (and high profile) of these shows is a segment on VH-1's 
                                Where Are They Now? which, while purporting to be on the band 
                                as a whole, devoted more than three and a half minutes out of the 
                                five-minute segment to the Kramer mystery, never once mentioning 
                                that Lee Dorman was the main Butterfly bassist during their classic 
                                years. This was done in spite of Dorman being both interviewed 
                                and shown performing on stage during the VH-1 show. 

                                Kramer played in a number of bands in Ohio (including Max, with 
                                future Dead Boy Stiv Bators) before moving to L.A. in the early 
                                '70s. After working a number of odd jobs and even living on the 
                                streets, he was asked to join an Iron Butterfly reunion by original 
                                drummer and friend Ron Bushy, whom he'd been working with as 
                                a prop builder at Warner Brothers Studios. Along with guitarist 
                                Erik Braunn and keyboardist Howard Reitzes, they recorded 
                                Scorching Beauty for MCA in 1974, followed by Sun And Steel 
                                (with Bill DeMartines replacing Reitzes). Neither album was 
                                particularly good, and while the band toured based on the strength 
                                of the name (with Kramer singing "IAGDV"), the band folded in 
                                1977. Kramer and Bushy formed a post-Butterfly group called 
                                Gold and recorded an unreleased album during '78-'79. After that 
                                stint Kramer quit the music business altogether. 

                                Kramer immersed himself in schooling, studying engineering and 
                                getting a job building radar equipment. He graduated from night 
                                school with straight A's and got a job at Northrup, working on the 
                                design of the MX missile. At the time of his disappearance, he had 
                                reportedly discovered a mathematical formula that would allow 
                                matter to travel faster than the speed of light. His involvement in 
                                projects of this nature have led to theories that he was abducted or 

                                What is known is that on Feb. 12, 1995, having spent an hour 
                                waiting at Los Angeles International Airport for a business contact 
                                who never arrived, he called both his wife and Ron Bushy from his 
                                cell phone in his car, leaving Bushy a cryptic message about seeing 
                                him  "...on the other side." According to newspaper reports, 
                                Kramer also called 911 just before noon that day and said he was 
                                going to commit suicide. Despite this, family members believe he 
                                could have been the victim of foul play. 

                                Officials said that determining whether Kramer's death was a 
                                suicide, murder or accident could take months.  

                                — Geof O'Keefe 

Skeletal remains may belong to missing rock musician

                  May 31, 1999  
                  Web posted at: 11:47 AM  

                  MALIBU, California (AP) -- Human remains found inside the wreckage of 
                  a minivan that plunged down a 200-foot ravine may be those of a rock 
                  musician missing since 1995, police said.  

                  The 1993 Ford Aerostar matches the description of a van driven by onetime 
                  Iron Butterfly bass player Philip "Taylor" Kramer, who was believed to be 
                  driving his van when he disappeared February 12, 1995.  

                  The remains were being examined by coroner's investigators Sunday, 
                  authorities said. No identity has been released.  

                  A hiker in the ravine discovered the skeleton late Saturday but investigators 
                  were not able to recover the vehicle until daylight, said Los Angeles County 
                  Sheriff's Deputy Bruce Thomas.  

                  The ravine is located below a curving, two-lane road that is a popular 
                  dumping ground for stolen cars, Thomas said.  

                  It is not yet clear whether the driver died when the car went off the side of 
                  the road or whether foul play was involved.  

                  Kramer, who was 42 when he disappeared, was last seen leaving his 
                  Thousand Oaks-area home to pick up a friend at Los Angeles International 

                  He joined a re-formed Iron Butterfly in 1975 as a singer and bass player. 
                  The band, best known for its 17-minute smash hit "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" in 
                  1969, had several incarnations with various band members over the years.  

                  Kramer went on to work in aerospace and later became involved in 
                  interactive media. At the time of his disappearance, he was chief technology 
                  officer at Total Multimedia in suburban Newbury Park.  

                  After he disappeared, his wife, Jennifer, said her husband "would never, for 
                  any reason or under any circumstances, allow himself to completely abandon 
                  the family he loves more than life itself."

   Human Remains Provide Clues to Missing Rocker 

                       by Joal Ryan 
                       June 1, 1999, 9:20 a.m. PT  

                       A grim discovery of a human skull and bones may 
                       solve the mystery of a onetime bassist of 
                       progressive rock band Iron Butterfly--a man 
                       missing for more than four years.  

                       Authorities in California say they are all but 
                       certain that the remains belong to Philip Kramer, 
                       who played in Butterfly during the group's 
                       mid-1970s incarnation.  

                       Hikers found the remains Saturday near a totaled 
                       1993 Ford van at the bottom of a canyon, more than 
                       400 feet below the nearby road, in Southern 
                       California's picturesque Malibu. Evidence suggests 
                       the crash was the result of a suicide mission, the 
                       Los Angeles Times says.  

                       The van is to be removed from the canyon today. 
                       Coroner's officials also plan to use dental 
                       records to confirm that the skull and bones indeed 
                       belong to Kramer. One of the hikers who discovered 
                       the crash site told the Times that a wallet found 
                       at the scene contained Kramer's driver's license.  

                       Kramer has been missing since February 12, 1995. 
                       During a drive home from Los Angeles International 
                       Airport on that day, he made a cell phone calls to 
                       his wife, a friend from Iron Butterfly, and, 
                       finally, to 911, wherein he told the operator he 
                       planned to kill himself. Then, he seemingly 

                       There has been no comment yet from Kramer's family 
                       on the weekend developments. But some in the camp 
                       have long argued that Kramer's disappearance may 
                       have been linked to his work. Post-Butterfly, 
                       Kramer ran a multimedia company. His family has 
                       said the ex-rocker had made a key scientific 
                       breakthrough shortly before he disappeared.  

                       Kramer, born in 1952, joined the second coming of 
                       Iron Butterfly in 1974. He played on its album Sun 
                       and Steel. Butterfly is best known for its 
                       17-minute-long, album-rock classic, 


 From Philip Taylor Kramer Site
Compiled by Tony Frankino
Internet Promise Goes Unfullfilled 
                   By Tamara Henry 
                   USA Today 
                   March 31,1999 

                   WASHINGTON - The initiative was launched with great fanfare: The Council of the Great City Schools announced an alliance with MCI and Total Multimedia Inc. to hardwire the 50 largest urban school districts to the Internet.  

                   "For inner-city America and for our kids, they are too often the last to be served by any new emerging technology or service," council head Michael Casserly told USA TODAY.  

                   That was in August 1994. The "benchmark initiative" - as the council described it - was to start the process that creates the National Urban Learning Network. But the man pushing the initiative, Taylor Kramer of the '70s rock group Iron Butterfly, literally disappeared soon afterward. And now, nothing has happened to make the goal come to pass.  

                   The story is a lesson in how even the best of intentions in technology can fall by the wayside without proper vigilance. "I think the landscape in school technology is littered with an incredible array of programs that had great intentions but lack the juice or implementation," Casserly says.  
                   "You would kind of expect with a field that is less than 20 years old and as big as this one is, you're going to have a lot of things that really make it and lots of things that fail," he says.  

                   Kramer had approached Casserly with the promise to provide technology and high-tech assistance through his California video technology firm Total Multimedia. He had founded TMM along with Randy Jackson, the youngest Jackson in the Jackson 5. TMM had established a track record in its use of high-tech equipment in schools. Headquartered in Thousand Oaks, Calif., TMM had teamed up with the nearby Hueneme Elementary School District in 1985 to outfit all of its 11 schools.  

                   With the alliance, the MCI foundation was to contribute $100,000, while the corporation made available the resources it has as an international telecommunications carrier. The council was to start the network with one high school in the cities of Nashville, St. Louis, Portland, Ore., Detroit, San Diego, Baltimore and Boston.  

                   Months after the announcement, the council sponsored a design meeting in Portland, Ore., at Marshall High School, to demonstrate the initiative to prospective donors representing nearly 40 corporations.  Marshall principal Colin Karr-Morse remembers the promises but says, "We kind of dropped out of that because nothing was happening. We get into an awful lot of meetings where people have really neat ideas and don't follow through. We just decided we're going to do our own thing."  

                   Casserly's plan was to eventually connect all 50 urban school districts with their 5.5 million children - typically America's neediest youth - to the country's evolving information highways to improve the quality of instruction.  

                   Besides the disappearance of Kramer, Casserly says the urban network also failed to receive a $291,374 grant from the Department of Commerce. "We had thought that the project really jived with their priorities, but they ended up not funding it." Other corporations were to kick in $1.2 million. "We were disappointed that it was so slow, and the talk preceded the money, and the money never came," says Karr-Morse, noting the school was able to finance a technology project with local corporate help and a hefty bond issue.  

                   "Urban schools still are about half as likely to be wired to the Internet as the national average,"  Casserly says. For the 50 districts represented by the council, he says the range is about 10% to 80% of their schools, with some schools having only the principal's office wired or the library but not every classroom.  

                   By Tamara Henry, 
                   USA TODAY

       Did Leaving Doom Iron Butterfly Bassist? 
                                 ( The Washington Times ) 

                                 LOS ANGELES 

                                 - He went from rock star to rocket scientist, with a security clearance for work 
                                 on the MX nuclear missile. Then he vanished without a trace. 

                                 Some think former Iron Butterfly bassist Philip Taylor Kramer committed 
                                 suicide or faked his own death. Others, including a U.S. congressman, believe 
                                 the 6-foot-5 rocker was kidnapped or murdered, possibly by a hostile foreign 
                                 government, and are pressing the FBI to launch a full investigation. 

                                 "The MX was having troubles, and he was the guy who was helping to fix it," 
                                 says Paul Marcone, an aide to Rep. James A. Trafi cant Jr., Ohio Democrat, in 
                                 whose district the Kramer family lives. "He could help Iraq or China develop a 
                                 missile that could hit L.A. It sounds like a spy novel, but what if he was 

                                 "If you listen to the 911 call, a lot of things don't add up." Indeed, 2 1/2 years 
                                 after he disappeared at age 42, the case of Philip Kramer remains one of the 
                                 most bizarre missing-persons mysteries in recent times. 

                                 The youngest of three children, Philip inherited the scientific prowess of his 
                                 father, Ray Kramer, a professor of electrical engineering at Youngstown State 
                                 in Ohio. At age 12, the boy won a science fair by building a laser powerful 
                                 enough to pop a balloon. He later taught himself guitar and piano and in 1971, 
                                 when he was 19, he moved with his older sister, Kathy, to Los Angeles. There 
                                 they hoped to develop a brother-sister act. 

                                 The duet failed to fly, but in 1973 Philip met Ron Bushy, original drummer of 
                                 legendary heavy metal band Iron Butterfly, known for its droning 1968 hit 
                                 "In-a-Gadda-Da Vida." The pair decided to revive the band, which had broken 
                                 up in 1971. 

                                 On road trips, Mr. Kramer passed the time by working out mathematical 
                                 equations and stayed in shape by doing 1,000 push-ups a day. The group cut 
                                 two albums, but with fan support on the wane, decided to shut down in 1975. 

                                 Kramer,along with Michael Jackson's brother Randy, founded Total 
                                 Multimedia. The firm developed video compression technology, used to store 
                                 images on CD- ROM discs. 

                                 About the same time, Mr. Kramer became a devotee of "The Celestine 
                                 Prophecy," which preaches about a mystical search for the nine insights of life. 

                                 Copyright © 1997 News World Communications, Inc. 
                                 K.L. Billingsley, Did leaving rock for rockets doom Butterfly star?., 
                                 The Washington Times, 09-14-1997, pp 04.