Foo Fighters Drummer Taylor Hawkins 1972 – 2022

The drummer for Foo Fighters since 1997 has died at age 50.

By Scott Bernstein Mar 25, 2022 9:42 pm PDT

Longtime Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins has died at age 50. Foo Fighters confirmed the news of Hawkins’ death in a statement shared on the band’s social media feeds but the cause of his passing was not indicated.

“The Foo Fighters family is devasted by the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved Taylor Hawkins,” started the note from Foo Fighters. “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.”

Foo Fighters were slated to perform at the Festival Estéreo Picnic in Bogotá, Colombia on Friday night. The band’s set was canceled in the wake of Hawkins’ passing.

Oliver Taylor Hawkins grew up in Southern California, where his family moved four years after his birth on February 17, 1972. Hawkins started playing drums at age 10 and was heavily inspired by a Queen concert he saw at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre in Irvine, California in 1982. “After that concert, I don’t think I slept for three days,” Taylor told Kerrang. “It changed everything, and I was never the same because of it. It was the beginning of my obsession with rock’n’roll, and I knew that I wanted to be in a huge rock band after seeing Queen. I was just starting to get into the drums, and [Queen skinsman] Roger Taylor became my hero. I remember telling my mom that I’d play there one day.”

Taylor split his time working at a drum shop and performing with Orange County-based band Sylvia before jumping on tour with Canadian vocalist Sass Jordan in 1994. Alanis Morissette recruited Hawkins to join her touring band in 1995 following the release of her massively successful Jagged Little Pill studio album. Taylor Hawkins toured with Alanis until 1997 at which point he joined Foo Fighters.

Hawkins met Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl during a concert put on by a radio station that featured sets from both Alanis and Foo Fighters. Grohl told KLOS’ Matt Pinfield about his first encounter with Hawkins:

“He came up with a beer in his hand. He’s like, ‘Hey, man, what’s up? I’m Taylor, I play with Alanis Morissette. Dude, I love your record, it’s so cool!’ He was such a spaz. I was like, ‘Wow, you’re either my twin or my spirit animal, or my best friend!’ In the first 10 seconds of meeting him. And, of course, I’d seen him play the drums, and I thought he was an amazing drummer.”

Grohl called Hawkins in 1997 asking his advice on who he should recruit to play drums after William Goldsmith quit Foo Fighters thinking Taylor would never leave Morissette’s group. “You know I’m your guy,” Hawkins told Grohl according to the frontman’s chat with Pinfield and was behind the kit for the last 25 years of the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame act’s career. Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins sealed their close friendship with a cross-country drive detailed in Grohl’s recently released memoir The Storyteller. Read what Dave wrote regarding his bond with Taylor in the book:

Tearing through the room like an F5 tornado of hyperactive joy was Taylor Hawkins, my brother from another mother, my best friend, a man from whom I would take a bullet. Upon first meeting, our bond was immediate, and we grew closer with every day, every song, every note that we played together. I am not afraid to say that our chance meeting was a kind of love at first sight, igniting a musical ‘twin flame’ that still burns to this day. Together, we have become an unstoppable duo, onstage and off, in pursuit of any and all adventure we can find. We are absolutely meant to be, and I am grateful that we found each other in this lifetime.

1999’s There Is Nothing Left To Lose was the first Foo Fighters album to solely feature Hawkins. The drummer has appeared on each of the band’s seven studio albums since, including 2021’s Medicine At Midnight. Taylor provided lead vocals on the track “Cold Day In The Sun” off 2005’s In Your Honor and led the band through various covers in concert.

Taylor Hawkins also fronted his own band, Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders. The trio released a self-titled debut album in 2006 and followed with Red Light Fever in 2010 and Get The Money in 2019. Additionally, Hawkins took part in the cover band Chevy Metal.

Hawkins is survived by his wife Alison and their three children.

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