Drummers had to learn to live with sarcastic jokes about their music or aspects of their personalities, but Taylor Hawkins proved that a drummer can be a star in his own right, and also being a drummer who can coexist happily with being a singer, songwriter, and leader of a band.
Hawkins, who died suddenly at the age of 50 while touring with fu fighters In Colombia, he has been a member of the group since 1997. His debut album with them was There Is Nothing Left to Lose (1999), which reached the top ten in the US and UK and gave them their first Grammy Award (for best rock album).
Hawkins was present for seven more albums of The Foo Fighters, where they established themselves as one of the best rock acts in the world attracting dedicated legions of fans internationally. They have so far won 12 Grammys, and their consistently successful albums have topped the US album chart twice and the British chart five times. their latest album, Medicine in the middle of the nightIt has been nominated for three Grammy Awards, with the awards ceremony scheduled for April 3.
In addition to his music, Hawkins brought humor, enthusiasm, and personality to the group. As well as singing on Foo Fighters songs cold day in the sun And the Sunday rainHe often sang cover versions with the band and was a regular contributor to writing songs on their albums. Recent live shows have discovered him seizing the microphone to wear Freddy Mercury’s shoes – not a job for the faint of heart – and performing a massive version of Queen’s Somebody to Love, as he did in his last performance with the band in Lollapalooza Argentina On March 20.
Meanwhile, he’d always throw himself in his act behind the drums with eager intensity and arm-patter. His blonde hair and sporty frame gave him the feel of just emerging from the waves in California, fueling his fondness for tank tops and Bermuda shorts. But he combined showmanship and artistic skill, along with knowledge and respect for musical history.
He recalled how attending Queen’s concert in 1982 was a life-changing experience – “It was the beginning of my obsession with rock and roll, and I knew I wanted to be in a huge rock band.”
Drummer Roger Taylor was one of his main sources of inspiration, along with Stuart Copeland, Phil Collins, U2 band member Larry Mullen, and Stephen Perkins of Addiction Jane. He also got some advice from jazz drummers Jane Krupa and Body Rich.
Hawkins was born in Fort Worth, Texas, to Terry Hawkins, a businessman, and his wife, Elizabeth Ann. He had two older brothers, Heather and Jason. In 1976, the family moved to Laguna Beach, California, and Hawkins graduated from Laguna Beach High School in 1990. When he was ten, his parents bought him a drum set, which proved to be a pivotal moment.
He later recalls: “I was a fat, fat, stupid kid who failed at everything and was not loved.” “Then I started playing the drums.” His mother was always supportive of his efforts in singing and playing drums. “She was a big pro and she told me I would,” he said He told the Sydney Morning Herald. “I stood up to my dad’s stone-faced coldness, typical of a ’70s guy.”
He began performing with local groups, and after being a drummer for the Progressive rock band influenced by rock band Sylvia, joined the backing group of singer Sass Jordan. His profile then received a major boost when he was recruited to join Alanis Morissette’s band as they toured their hit 1995 album Jagged Little Pill (sold over 30 million copies worldwide). Hawkins appeared in the video for you should knowwhich is the first single on the album, which helped achieve great success, as well as in the video for you are learning.
While on tour with Morissette, Hawkins got to know Dave Grohl, founder of the Foo Fighters, since they’re often on the same festival bills. The duo immediately struck up a close relationship on both a personal and musical level, as Grohl described. “Our musical relationship – the basis of that is our friendship, which is why when we jump on stage and play, we are so connected, because we are the best of friends.”
When the Foo Fighters needed a drummer in 1997, after William Goldsmith quit while preparing the band’s second album, The Color and the Shape, Hawkins was the obvious choice. The fact that he also had ambitions as a singer and songwriter means that he didn’t hesitate too much to give up his job with Morissette.
Besides his work Foo Fighters, Hawkins released three albums with his band, Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders, played cover versions with Chevy Metal, released an album with Birds of Satan, and another album was due to be released in 2022 with NHC, which Hawkins appeared alongside Dave Navarro and Chris Chaney from Jane’s Addiction.
Hawkins is survived by his wife Alison whom he married in 2005 and their children Oliver, Annabelle and Everly.