On Friday, March 25, 2022 The Foo Fighters shocked the world when they announced the passing of their drummer, Taylor Hawkins on Twitter:
Hawkins had been the band’s drummer since 1997 after touring with Alanis Morissette and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2021 as a member of Foo Fighters. He was voted “Best Rock Drummer” in 2005 by the British drumming magazine Rhythm. Foo Fighters have won 12 Grammy Awards and have had four #1 hits on the Billboard charts.
As the story goes, after Dave Grohl recorded all the instruments himself for the first Foo Fighters album, he asked Hawkins if he could recommend a drummer for the band and Hawkins volunteered.
“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, The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music. “Together, we have become an unstoppable duo, onstage and off, in pursuit of any and all adventure we can find.”
In addition to the Foo Fighters, Hawkins had many side projects including Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders with guitarist Gannin Arnold and bassist Chris Chaney of Jane’s Addiction, the supergroup NHC with Jane’s Addiction members Dave Navarro and Chris Chaney, and his cover band called Chevy Metal.
Chevy Metal performed a concert of only Van Halen songs at the 2019 Beach Life festival in Redondo Beach, California. The performance was great and he seemed to really enjoy it himself, “I gotta tell you, being Van Halen for the day is pretty f**kin’ awesome,” he explained from the stage that day. “It’s the best f**kin’ set list you’re ever gonna find, right?” In this video he talks about his band Chevy Metal:
On Friday, March 25, emergency services were called to 50-year-old Hawkins’ hotel room in Bogotá Colombia, responding to calls reporting someone was having chest pain. First responders attempted to revive Hawkins, “however, there was no response, and the patient was declared deceased,” Bogotá’s District Department of Health said.
After the band tweeted the news, the American Embassy responded with condolences:
Colombian officials have attempted to be completely transparent in the investigation into Hawkins’ death and have shared every bit of information they can via twitter including the toxicology results which shows the drummer had ten substances in his system at the time of his death including opioids, benzodiazepines, tricyclic antidepressants, and THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana.
The attorney general’s office in Colombia said in a tweet on Saturday morning,
“From the moment #Fiscalía became aware of the death of foreign citizen Taylor Hawkins, drummer of the band Foo Fighters, who was staying in a hotel in northern Bogotá, a team of prosecutors and investigators was assigned to attend to urgent events and support investigations.”
A Colombian news magazine called Semana reported, “forensic doctors were shocked by the size of the drummer’s heart: it weighed at least 600 grams. The researchers assure that the organ collapsed before the cocktail of narcotics that they found in his blood. The death occurred immediately.” In an average male person, the heart of an adult can be between 250 grams and 350 grams.
Fans, friends, and colleagues flocked to social media to share their heartache over the passing of Taylor Hawkins.
REELated: Oscar-winner William Hurt passes at 71
In the wake of their devastating loss, the band has announced they have canceled the rest of their tour:
Foo Fighters were scheduled to perform at the Grammy Awards on April 3, where the band has been nominated for Best Rock Performance for Making A Fire, Best Rock Song for Waiting On A War, and Best Rock Album for Medicine At Midnight. While they haven’t officially canceled this particular performance, considering they have officially announced they are canceling ALL upcoming tour dates, it’s safe to assume they will not be performing at the Grammy awards this year.
Neither the band nor Colombian authorities have yet to release Hawkins’s official cause of death.