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Home » History » Death of Philip Taylor Kramer, Bassist of Iron Butterfly

Death of Philip Taylor Kramer, Bassist of Iron Butterfly

by Jim H

Bass Player on Two Iron Butterfly Albums in the 1970s

Philip Taylor Kramer (July 12, 1952 – February 12, 1995) started his career in rock music as the bass player of the reformed psychedelic group, Iron Butterfly.  Although Iron Butterfly’s most popular hit, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”, was made before he joined, Kramer recorded two albums with Iron Butterfly in the mid-seventies, Scorching Beauty and Sun and Steel.  After lackluster sales, Kramer left the group in 1977 and concentrated on furthering his education.

philip kramer

Philip Taylor Kramer

From Bassist to Hard Sciences

Kramer completed his aerospace engineering degree and his high intellect was reflected in his straight “A’s” in school.  His career following school started with Northrup working. He worked as a Department of Defense contractor on the MX missile guidance system.  He eventually moved into the computer industry, working on facial recognition and communications programs.

Immediately prior to his 1995 disappearance, he reportedly developed a mathematical formula for transmissions at a “faster than light” speed.  This formula was an ongoing effort by his family to discredit Albert Einstein’s theories.

The Day Philip Taylor Kramer Disappeared

On 12 February 1995, Kramer drove to the Los Angeles airport to pick up a business associate, Greg Martini, and his wife. They never showed up.  After waiting almost an hour, Kramer drove away and commenced to make some unusual phone calls.  He called his long-time friend (and Iron Butterfly drummer) Ron Bushy, stating “Bush, I love you more than life itself.”  He also called his wife and told her “Whatever happens, I’ll always be with you.” He then called 911 and stated:

PTK: This is Philip Taylor Kramer.

911: Uh-huh. This is 911.  Can I help you, sir?

PTK: Yes, you can. I’m going to kill myself.

Kramer never returned home that day and his disappearance lasted for over 4 years.

Discovery of His Body

On 29 May 1999, hikers discovered a wrecked 1993 green Ford Aerostar at the bottom of a Malibu, CA ravine.  The vehicle contained skeletal remains which were later identified as Kramer through dental records.

Family Discounts Suicide

Despite law enforcement ruling his death as a probable suicide, family, and friends of Philip Taylor Kramer discount this theory.

Kramer’s spouse stated her husband “would never, for any reason or under any circumstances, allow himself to completely abandon the family he loves more than life itself.

If  Kramer did, in fact, commit suicide, he successfully withheld these thoughts from his friends and family.  So the question remains.  Did Philip Taylor Kramer kill himself or did someone silence him based on the work he was conducting that would have discredited many influential people?

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