Tragic death of drumming sensation depresses many

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins dies at age 50

Fair use from Zuma Press

Fair use from Zuma Press

Modesty Manion

World-renowned drummer Taylor Hawkins of the rock band Foo Fighters died March 25 of a drug overdose. 

Foo Fighters were formed in Seattle, Washington in 1994 by former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, following the suicide of frontman Kurt Cobain. After producing two albums with drummer William Goldsmith, he was replaced by Taylor Hawkins in 1997. Hawkins had previously played as the drummer for the band Sylvia, and as touring drummer for both Sass Jordan and Alanis Morissette respectively. 

Taylor Hawkins has become a musical legend through his implementation of classic rock drumming styles into Foo Fighters’ alt-rock sound. His genius was exemplified when Dave Grohl switched to lead vocals and guitar to let Hawkins play as the main drummer for Foo Fighters. Hawkins’ work on songs like “Low,” “Bridge Burning,” “Rope” and “The Pretender” displayed how incredibly talented he was. 

Hawkins was the main drummer for eight of Foo Fighters’ 10 albums, and contributed to the writing of many songs. Additionally, Hawkins performed lead vocals on various Foo Fighters songs, and provided background vocals on Guns and Roses guitarist Slash’s self-titled album, alongside Ozzy Osbourne of Black Sabbath. 

Hawkins’ side project, Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders, released 3 albums between 2006 and 2019. His second side project, the Birds of Satan, released its debut album in 2014. In 2020, Hawkins played drums on Miley Cyrus’ album “Plastic Hearts,” and on Elton John’s song “E-ticket,” last year. Hawkins also recently started the band NHC with two members from the band Jane’s Addiction, whose album has yet to be released. 

Taylor Hawkins also had an acting career, playing Iggy Pop in the 2013 rock film CBGB, and playing himself in the Foo fighters’ horror film, Studio 666, released less than two months ago. 

Along with the other members of Foo Fighters, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2021. Taylor Hawkins took inspiration from classic rock drummers, most notably Roger Taylor of Queen, Ringo Starr of the Beatles, Neil Peart of Rush and Alex Van Halen of Van Halen. 

Just four days after Hawkins’ death, Foo Fighters canceled their sold-out tour in five different countries. Hawkins had previously overdosed on heroin in 2001, which left him in a coma for two weeks. The entire time, Dave Grohl was by his side, and said he was ready to quit music at any time for Hawkins. The two were extremely close, so after the suicide of Kurt Cobain and the recent death of Hawkins, Grohl has lost two of his closest bandmates. 

Over the past few weeks, fellow musicians such as Billie Eilish, Paul Mccartney, Stevie Nicks, Mick Jagger and Axl Rose have paid tribute to the late drummer. A montage of backstage videos and interviews of Hawkins was displayed at the Grammys, concluding with an audience sing-along of Foo Fighters song “My Hero.” Due to his skill, accomplishment and dedication to the art of music, Taylor Hawkins has left a lasting impression on both the drumming community and the music industry as a whole. He will be missed by many.