Tribute: Taylor Hawkins

Like every other music lover in the world, I was heartbroken to learn of the death yesterday of Taylor Hawkins. Having only just recently seen him acting in the band’s Studio 666 horror/comedy, and knowing he was going to be performing with the band at the Grammy’s next week, it’s still hard to believe he’s gone. Best known as the drummer for the Foo Fighters, Hawkins has been a fixture in the world of rock n’ roll for decades. First gaining fame as the drummer for Alanis Morissette, Hawkins joined the Foo Fighters in 1997, and has been a key member of the band ever since.

As one can tell from all the outpouring of love for Hawkins online, he was beloved by the musical community. It’s no surprise, as he clearly loved that community and music itself. That’s one of the reasons he was so special – it was obvious how much he loved what he did. Drumming wasn’t just a job for him. He loved rock n’ roll; playing drums, writing songs and singing. I mean, just look at all the work he did outside of the Foo Fighters!

His solo project Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders was a clear love letter to classic rock, with influences ranging from Queen to Steely Dan to Jane’s Addiction all on display on their most recent album. Then there was his most recent side project, NHC, with Dave Navarro and Chris Chaney that revived the sound and spirit of 90’s grunge and hard rock. And then he also had Chevy Metal, a purely fun covers band that was a hit on the festival circuit.

And while rare, Hawkins even got to take lead on occasion with the Foos. His 60’s-inspired song “Cold Day in the Sun” from 2005’s In Your Honor was one of the highlights of the album, and a beautiful example of Hawkins’ songwriting talents. Most important of all though, was that every person who met Hawkins could attest to him being one of the nicest people around.

Our heartfelt condolences go out to Hawkins’ wife, children and all his friends and loved ones. The Foo Fighters, and rock n’ roll in general, will not be the same without you.

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