Taylor Hawkins, the hard-pounding drummer for multi-platinum rock band Foo Fighters, died Friday. He was 50.
Hawkins was in Bogota, Colombia, to perform with the Foo Fighters, two nights before the band’s headlining set at Lollapalooza Brazil on Sunday.
The news was announced on the Foo Fighters Instagram account. “The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved Taylor Hawkins,” the announcement read. “His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live on with all of us forever. Our hearts go out to his wife, children and family, and we ask that their privacy be treated with the utmost respect in this unimaginably difficult time.”
No cause of death was given.
As news spread of his passing, many musicians and peers paid tribute on social media.
“God bless you Taylor Hawkins. I loved your spirit and your unstoppable rock power. Rest In Peace my friend,” wrote Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello.
Ozzy Osbourne called Hawkins “a great person and an amazing musician.”
The Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins performing in Monterrey, Mexico, on Nov. 12, 2021.
(Medios y Media)
The Foo Fighters at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2021, from left: Pat Smear, Chris Shiflett, Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Rami Jaffee and Nate Mendel.
(Charles Sykes / Invision)
A member of Foo Fighters since 1997, Hawkins joined the band after touring with Alanis Morissette for her hit album “Jagged Little Pill.” Unhappy with the Foo Fighters’ original touring drummer, leader Dave Grohl reached out to his friend Hawkins to get his opinion on a replacement. Grohl, who previously played drums with Nirvana, was surprised when Hawkins recommended himself.
“We knew we’d get along,” Hawkins told the OC Weekly not long after he joined, adding that “being in the Foo has changed my drumming style because I had to adapt.” He added, “I was a little nervous at first, but I got over that. … No one can play better than Dave Grohl. He just has this vision in his head.”
Said Grohl of Hawkins in an interview with radio station KLOS-FM last year, “Our musical relationship — the foundation of that is our friendship, and that’s why when we jump up on stage and play, we’re so connected, because we’re like best friends.”
That chemistry was apparent. Though guitarist Pat Smear, bassist Nate Mendel, guitarist Chris Schiflett and keyboardist Rami Jaffee have been in the band for well over a decade, Hawkins was the best-known Foo Fighter besides Grohl. Those who saw him drum understood why.
“I think in a rock band it’s important to have a drummer who is fun to watch,” Hawkins told Drum magazine in 2007. When he was a teen, he said, he was “more of a showboat than a good drummer,” adding that his philosophy growing up was, “Play as fast and as busy as you can, all the time.”
All told, Hawkins played on eight Foo Fighters albums, five of which have gone platinum. Most recently, he played on the band’s 2021’s “Medicine at Midnight.” The Foo Fighters were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last fall.
His final performance was during the Foo Fighters Lollapalooza Argentina headlining show on Sunday.
Taylor Hawkins performing in Redondo Beach in 2019.
(Scott Dudelson / Getty Images)
Born Feb. 17, 1972, in Fort Worth, Oliver Taylor Hawkins moved with his parents and two siblings to Laguna Beach when he was in grade school, and attended Laguna Beach High School.
Opting to pursue drumming instead of 9-to-5 employment, he joined Sylvia, a Huntington Beach progressive metal trio that eventually signed with the Roadrunner record label. By then, Hawkins had joined Morissette’s backing band.
Possessed with wrist-snap power that pushed snare drum heads to their limits, the drummer was known for his singular patterns, which flew off in odd directions after building enough repetitive energy to power the whole of whichever arena the band was playing. On the Foo Fighters 2005 hit “The Best of You,” he beats his snare drum as if his whole intention is to splinter his sticks, the drum head and his hands.
As the band moved from the post-grunge alt-rock scene and into the mainstream, Hawkins embraced the success while pursuing musical projects of his own. Founded in 2006, Taylor Hawkins & the Coattail Riders featured members of Morissette’s touring band Sexual Chocolate and released three albums. Its most recent, “Get the Money” (2019), featured Grohl, Yes singer Jon Davison and Perry Ferrell of Jane’s Addiction.
In addition to music, Hawkins portrayed rocker Iggy Pop in the 2013 movie “CBGB” and himself in the Foo Fighters’ recently released horror film, “Studio 666.” During shooting, Grohl playfully complained that his bandmate hadn’t even bothered to learn his lines.
“It’s not that I’m difficult, it’s that I’m lazy and I’m not much for book learning,” Hawkins replied.
Asked about his surfer-dude approach absorbed through his decades living on the Pacific Coast, Hawkins said that despite his long blond hair and chill affect, the beach wasn’t for him. Saying that he hadn’t surfed in a few years, he confessed, “I was never that great, anyway, because I was always in the garage, smoking cigarettes and playing drums.”
Hawkins is survived by his wife, Alison, and their three children: Oliver Shane, Annabelle and Everleigh.
Source by www.latimes.com