For Foo Fighters, a 'Tragic and Untimely Loss'

Drummer Taylor Hawkins dies at 50 while on tour with band in Bogota, Colombia
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 26, 2022 6:00 AM CDT
Foo Fighters Drummer Taylor Hawkins Dead at 50
Police stand guard outside the hotel where drummer Taylor Hawkins was found dead in Bogota, Colombia, on Saturday. Hawkins, drummer for the Foo Fighters for 25 years and best friend of frontman Dave Grohl, has died during a South American tour with the rock band. He was 50.   (AP Photo/Leonardo Munoz)

(Newser) – Taylor Hawkins, the drummer for Foo Fighters for 25 years and best friend of frontman Dave Grohl, has died during a South American tour with the rock band. He was 50. There were no immediate details on how Hawkins died, although the band said in a statement Friday that his death was a "tragic and untimely loss," per the AP. Foo Fighters had been scheduled to play at a festival in Bogota, Colombia, on Friday night. Hawkins' final concert was Sunday at another festival in San Isidro, Argentina. Police vehicles, an ambulance, and fans were gathered outside the hotel in northern Bogota where Hawkins was believed to have been staying.

"It was a band I grew up with. This leaves me empty," one 23-year-old fan told the AP as he mourned Hawkins outside the hotel. Authorities in Colombia haven't commented on Hawkins' death. The US Embassy in Bogota expressed its condolences in a tweet. After Grohl, Hawkins was the most recognizable member of the group, appearing alongside the lead singer in interviews and playing prominent, usually comic, roles in the band's memorable videos and their recent horror-comedy film, Studio 666. Hawkins was Alanis Morissette's touring drummer when he joined Foo Fighters in 1997. He played on the band's biggest albums, including One by One and In Your Honor, and on such hit singles as "My Hero" and "Best of You."

Born Oliver Taylor Hawkins in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1972, Hawkins was raised in Laguna Beach, Calif. He played in the small Southern California band Sylvia before landing his first major gig as a drummer for Canadian singer Sass Jordan. Hawkins told the AP in 2019 that his early drumming influences included Stewart Copeland of The Police, Roger Taylor from Queen, and Phil Collins. When he spent two years in the mid-1990s drumming for Morissette, he was inspired primarily by the playing of Jane's Addiction's Stephen Perkins. He and Grohl met backstage at a show when Hawkins was still with Morissette. Grohl's band would have an opening soon after when then-drummer William Goldsmith left. Grohl called Hawkins, who was a huge Foo Fighters fan and immediately accepted.

"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," Grohl wrote in his book. "Together, we have become an unstoppable duo, onstage and off, in pursuit of any and all adventure we can find." Tributes poured out on social media for Hawkins on Friday night. "God bless you Taylor Hawkins," Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello tweeted, along with a photo of himself, Hawkins, and Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell. “I loved your spirit and your unstoppable rock power.” Hawkins is survived by his wife, Alison, and their three children. "His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live on with all of us forever," said the Foo Fighters statement. "Our hearts go out to his wife, children and family."

(Read more Foo Fighters stories.)

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