Athens Musician Jimmy Taylor (Iron Hero, Darla) Dies at 43

It is with a very heavy heart I report that Athens musician Jimmy Taylor died the morning of Sept. 11. Jimmy was a Macon native who grew up attending Stratford Academy, where he was an awarded soccer player. After moving to Athens in the early 2000s he quickly made his musical mark while performing as guitarist, keyboardist and vocalist with Iron Hero. In October 2004, Jimmy was struck by an SUV on Broad Street late one night. His injuries were so severe that his relatively quick rallying afterward was the stuff of miracles and his break from playing music was shorter than immediately expected. Unfortunately, this rally was short-lived as the ensuing years saw him suffer through countless complications and conditions related not only to his severe brain injuries, but also physical ailments that often had him spending several weeks at a time hospitalized in various facilities throughout the country. Even so, Jimmy never gave up hope and continued to pursue musical projects including Darla, Virgin Box Set and Hello Kitty Kat. Last week, he’d suffered a seizure which caused him to break four ribs. The day he died, he suffered both a seizure and cardiac arrest. Jimmy was a dear friend in the truest sense. He was enthusiastic to the very end and, though no one would have blamed him, he never turned cynical or thought his full recovery would never arrive. He was the literal embodiment of hope. Jimmy loved his family, his friends, his cats and music, and probably in exactly that order, too. I’m going to miss him terribly, and I’m far from the only one. He was 43 years old.