Remembering Taylor Hawkins: the hero behind the drum set


@taylorhawkinsofficial on Instagram

Logan Jonathan, Staff Writer

Taylor Hawkins, the renowned drummer of the critically acclaimed Foo Fighters was pronounced dead on March 25 at the age of 50. The band was on tour in South America and was scheduled to perform in Bogotá, Colombia, during Hawkins’s untimely death.

The Foo Fighters stayed in the Four Seasons Casa Medina hotel when the city’s emergency services received a call about a patient complaining of “chest pain.” According to Colombian authorities, the drummer had ten substances in his system, including opioids, tricyclic antidepressants, THC and benzodiazepines when he was found dead in the hotel.

Hawkins has faced drug-related issues in the past, most notably a 2001 overdose after a summer festival gig in England that left him in a coma.
An official cause of death has yet to be released, but fans are concerned that the substances in Hawkins’s system are related.

Prior to joining Foo Fighters in 1997, Hawkins was the drummer for Alanis Morissette, one of ’90s alternative rock’s foremost female vocalists. He contacted Dave Grohl, the founder of Foo Fighters and former Nirvana drummer, inquiring about volunteering to join the band. At the time, Morissette was selling out stadiums worldwide, while the Foo Fighters were still establishing themselves as a mainstay act.

Despite the difference in popularity, Hawkins wanted to be a drummer in a rock band rather than just a solo act. And thus, the rest is history, as Foo Fighters became one of the most successful rock bands to ever do it, recently being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year.

The accomplished drummer has also seen success outside of Foo Fighters since joining the band. For one of his many collaborations, Hawkins helped form NHC, a supergroup band, along with Dave Navarro and Chris Chaney of Jane’s Addiction. While the band does not currently have a deep discography, they did release a four-song EP last February titled “Intakes and Outtakes.” This project showcases Hawkins’ most recent work as a drummer, the last of which the world has been gifted in the wake of his passing.

University junior Bruce Macchione extended his appreciation for Hawkins, crediting the rock icon for influencing his musical aspirations as a guitarist in his own band, Love Letter.

“Taylor Hawkins and his drumming style really strikes hard in the hearts of a lot of drummers. The drummer in the band I play in is majorly influenced by Hawkins and his style influences the music that we make,” Macchione said. “It’s truly tragic to lose such an icon and my heart goes out to Dave Grohl, who not only lost his frontman, Kurt Cobain when he was a drummer, but lost his drummer when he himself was the frontman.”

“This as been a heartbreaking loss for everyone in the music scene. Taylor will be forever missed and remembered,” he shared.

Considering Hawkins’s death, Foo Fighters have canceled all of their upcoming tour dates and pulled out of their planned performance at the 64th Grammy Awards. Foo Fighters were not in attendance at the awards show, but they swept the rock categories by winning all three Grammy nominations, including Best Rock Performance (“Making A Fire”), Best Rock Song (“Waiting On A War”) and Best Rock Album (“Medicine At Midnight”).

The ceremony’s In Memoriam segment honored the late musician in a special segment, along with other recording artists. Host Trevor Noah took time to remember Hawkins, as he introduced a tribute montage including photos and footage of the celebrated artist. The compilation was set to one of the band’s greatest hits, “My Hero” and incorporated quotes from Grohl and Hawkins himself.

Frontman Grohl could be heard saying, “He’s the best drummer in the world, we love him so much.” An audio clip of Hawkins followed saying, “I realized that being a drummer, you have to be an athlete.”

Additionally, Billie Eilish performed her hit song “Happier Than Ever” while sporting a T-shirt with Hawkins’s picture on it.

Outside of the Grammys, artists of all genres paid tribute to Hawkins including Elton John, who collaborated with Hawkins on his 32nd studio album “The Lockdown Sessions,” and dedicated a song to the late musician saying, “It seems so sad that at 50 years of age we’ve lost someone who had that much passion.”

Hawkins’s influence on music will forever be acknowledged by his bandmates, musicians and fans of the rock world. The devastating loss of Taylor Hawkins has rocked the music world, but the icon’s legacy will live on through his art and the influence he has spread across the industry.