Taylor Hawkins 1972 – 2022

Taylor Hawkins 1972 – 2022

Music Instrument News is sad to report the death of Foo Fighters’ drummer and vocalist Taylor Hawkins. Hawkins died in his hotel room in Columbia where the band were on tour, and initial reports, unconfirmed at the time of writing, indicate that drugs may have been a contributary factor in his death.

Taylor Hawkins was a larger-than-life character, with a hugely popular personality combined with a high level of technical skill as a drummer. His ability gave him the confidence to respond to friend Dave Grohl’s request for advice on replacing Foo Fighters’ drummer William Goldsmith, by offering to step into the role himself. Given Grohl’s massive reputation as drummer with Nirvana, and his own recording of drum tracks for Foo Fighters recordings, it was no small step for Hawkins to join the then largely unknown band.

In the intervening time, Hawkins proved himself an essential part of the Foo Fighters’ rapid rise to critical and commercial success. In addition to his drumming, Taylor has provided guitar, piano and vocals to the Foo Fighters’ recorded output, as well as endearing himself to the band’s massive fanbase with his extravagant live performances as the band’s drummer.

Taylor Hawkins began his career with progressive rock outfit Sylvia, but made his name as the touring drummer for Alanis Morrissette on her Jagged Little Pill and Can’t Not tours. Hawkins took the decision to join The Foo Fighters because he wanted to be a part of a band, rather than simply working as a sideman.

As well as playing in the Foo Fighters, Hawkins retained his progressive connections by providing drums for the Coheed and Cambria album Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World For Tomorrow, and touring with the band during the early months of its release.

Taylor Hawkins was a complete drum fanatic. He often cited his major influences as a player – Roger Taylor, Stewart Copeland, Larry Mullen, and Stephen Perkins from Jane’s Addiction – stadium drummers all, who fed their technical skills and performance approaches into Hawkins’ technically complex and visually exciting drumming style.

Hawkins will be remembered for flying the flag so effectively for providing interesting and emotional drumming in a stadium rock context. His considerable technical ability as a player ensured that all his contributions as a musician, either in the studio, or live on stage, provided inspiration for drummers as musicians, during a time when computers and producers have appeared intent on diminishing or even removing the vital heart of any band interested in playing its instruments in those settings.

Blink 182’s Travis Barker was one drummer inspired by Hawkins, both as an example in his playing with The Foo Fighters, but also from his personal encouragement when talking backstage to Barker, when the latter was still working as a refuse collector during the day and drumming at night. Hawkins told Barker he was a star, something Barker remembered when he became just that.

That willingness to pass on his passion and belief to other drummers following his footsteps, is only part of what the world of music and drums will miss now that Taylor Hawkins has gone. The major loss will be his musicianship, his invention and technical skill, combined with his obvious love and enjoyment in playing the drums so well. Hopefully young drummers and musicians will learn the vital lesson that the rock and roll lifestyle can be dangerous, and it can, and once again has taken one of its shining stars out of our vision forever.

We extend our sincere sympathies to the Foo Fighters, Taylor Hawkins’ family and friends, and all connected in the drumming and performing world who knew him, and enjoyed his wonderful musicianship. Another star, gone too soon.

Taylor Hawkins 17 February 1971 – 25 March 2022.

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Source: musicinstrumentnews.co.uk