Remembering Legendary Drummer Taylor Hawkins

Taylor Hawkins playing the drums

Gloria Miros, Reporter

Taylor Hawkins, the accomplished drummer for the Foo Fighters, sadly and suddenly died at the age of 50 on March 25th in South America while on tour with the band. 

Although the full details of Hawkins’s death are still unknown, the AP reported that emergency responders received a call from the hotel where the band was staying, regarding an individual complaining about chest pain.

When medical officials arrived on the scene, after trying resuscitation maneuvers, he was declared dead. The autopsy confirmed that Hawkins died with nearly 10 different drugs in his system. 

Hawkins was born in Fort Worth, Texas on February 17, 1972, before relocating to Laguna Beach with his family, where he grew up. The beginning of Hawkins’s musical success can be traced back to him joining Alanis Morissette, a popular 90’s pop singer on her tour for the album Jagged Little Pill

He remarked to Rolling Stone magazine that once he heard her hit “You Oughta Know” he felt like that was the band for him. Surely enough, Hawkins blossomed as a drummer, appearing in two of her music videos.

Hawkins was with Morissette from 1995 to 1997 when he left to become the Foo Fighters’ official drummer and helped to launch the band into stardom. Hawkins’s official integration into the band came after meeting and deeply connecting with lead singer Dave Grohl, the former drummer for Nirvana.

While a part of the Foo Fighters, Hawkins both drummed and sang backup and lead vocals with Grohl. His style of drumming combined his intricately-honed technical skills and electric personality created an incredible performance experience for every listener and fan.  

Some of his best performances, where both his drumming and singing abilities are showcased, include Monkey Wrench live on “Later” in 1997, the cover of the Faces’ “Stay With Me” live at Rock Ring in 2015, and singing lead in 2008 with living members of Led Zeppelin on “Rock and Roll”, and then switching with Grohl to play drums on “Ramble On.” 

In all of these performances and many others, Hawkins’ infectious spirit and incredible musical talents brought a dynamic energy to the band’s sound that wouldn’t have been the same without him. 

Grohl’s friendship with Hawkins is really what led Hawkins to leave touring stadiums with Morissette to try and start something completely new with the Foo Fighters. Grohl told 95.5 KLOS that Hawkins was “either my twin or my spirit animal or my best friend.” This connection was the foundation for the Foo Fighters’ global fame and impact.

In Dave Grohl’s new book “The Storyteller ” he also says, “Taylor Hawkins, my brother from another mother, my best friend, a man whom I would take a bullet for. Upon first meeting our bond was immediate, we grew closer with every day, every song, every note that we ever played.”

Michael Taber, an English Teacher at Novato High, explained what Hawkins and the Foo Fighters music means to him.

“I started getting into the Foo Fighters around their second album which was 1997. One of their songs that really touched my heart was Everlong,” said Taber. “I think that there is a lot of speculation around whether or not it is written about Kurt Cobain but specifically the line ‘And I wonder, when I sing along with you, If everything could ever be this real forever, if anything could ever be this good again’ speaks as a reminder of the impermanence of friendship and both Dave Grohl’s connection with Kurt Cobain but also Taylor Hawkins as brothers.”  

Hawkins was an phenomenally eccentric musician with true range, who will be greatly missed by his bandmates, family, and countless fans across the globe.