Musician Taylor Hawkins, 1972-2022 – Obituary

TAYLOR Hawkins played the drums exactly how he lived his life – at full pelt and with vigour. The longhaired blond musician spent 25 years as the celebrated drummer for American rock band Foo Fighters.

An armsflailing showman, he combined passion with technical ability. Hawkins joined the band in 1997, three years after it was formed by former Nirvana star Dave Grohl, and his creativity helped elevate them to their first Grammy award win in 2000. Across nine albums, he enjoyed writing credits on transatlantic hits including All My Life, Best Of You, Learn To Fly and Run.

Off stage, he partied hard and spoke openly of his love of drugs but never let his wild side diminish his performances.

Hawkins also recorded for Brian May, Roger Taylor and guitarist Slash – he also formed supergroup

NHC with band members from Jane’s Addiction.

He got his break as the tour drummer for rock singer Sass Jordan and, later, played with Alanis Morissette on her 1995 breakthrough album Jagged Little

Pill, which sold more than 33 million copies worldwide.

Oliver Taylor Hawkins was born in Fort Worth, Texas, to Terry and Elizabeth Ann Hawkins. The family moved to Laguna Beach, California, when he was five and the young Hawkins struggled to find his identity as a “chubby, stupid kid who failed at everything and whom nobody liked”.

His life changed, aged 10, after sitting on his neighbour’s “ricketyrackety” drum kit one summer.

“He literally said, ‘You’re a drummer’,” Hawkins recalled in an interview. “That day it was like a lightning bolt shot through me – I’m a drummer, that’s what I’m going to do. It became my armour and I fell in love with it.”

His mum supported him but his dad did not. Around the same time, he came across the album News Of The World by Queen. The band’s drummer Roger Taylor became his biggest musical inspiration. In his late teens Hawkins performed with a local band, alongside delivering pizzas and mowing lawns.

He died while Foo Fighters were on tour South America. Six days before his death, Hawkins had traded places with Dave Grohl to belt out Somebody To Love in his final performance at Lollapalooza festival in Argentina. Initial toxicology results indicated 10 different drugs in his system but a cause of death is not confirmed.

 

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