By Cole Parkinson
If you’re a rock music fan, you knew who Taylor Hawkins was. And even if you aren’t a big fan of rock n’ roll, you almost certainly knew some of his work. Whether it be with the Foo Fighters or with Alanis Morissette, Hawkins was a massively talented drummer that made any project he was a part of better.
He always joked that being in a band with one of the best drummers of all time (Dave Grohl) was intimidating, but anyone who has listened to his drum work, knows he more than holds his own against anyone. He made the Foo Fighters, the Foo Fighters. While it started as a Dave Grohl solo project, adding Hawkins to the drums not only made the band better, but it made it feel like a true band that relied on every member to bring in their own unique sound. And Hawkins did that in spades over the 27 years and eight records with the Foos.
The Foo Fighters are one of my favourite bands and their 2011 record Wasting Light is a top 20 record of all time for me. I listened to it every day for weeks on end when it came out and every time I listen to it, it flashes me back to my sophomore year of high school. My favourite memory is I plugged the CD into my mom’s car en route to a baseball tournament and we listened to it several times throughout the trip.
To say I’ll miss him is an understatement, and I was absolutely shocked to read the news when it broke late on March 25. And it’s always a strange feeling when someone of that stature passes away. You didn’t know them personally, but you also feel like you’ve known them your whole life, especially when you connect with their work — whether it be music, movies, books, or any other works of art.
While it’s easy to mourn the musician, Hawkins leaves behind a family and I truly feel for them. He was only 50 years old upon passing and it’s heartbreaking. The tributes and memorials that have popped up since his death show just how much his music touched the hearts of fans across the world.
I had the chance to see the Foos in 2015 and the entire band was firing on all cylinders. And while when people think of Dave Grohl first when the Foo Fighters come up, I have a hard time not bringing up Hawkins, Pat Smear, Chris Shiflett, or Nate Mendel as being crucial to the band.
Foo Fighters have understandably cancelled all of their remaining shows in 2022 and it’s not hard to see why. The band loved Taylor like a brother, especially Dave who has explained how deep their friendship is, and from this, it’s hard to know if the Foos will ever return. Replacing Hawkins is impossible and while they could find someone to play the drums moving forward, who knows if anyone in the band truly wants that. I didn’t know Taylor personally, but it certainly seems like he’d want the band to continue. His love of music was evident every time I saw him, whether it be live or on video, and I struggle to believe he’d want the Foo Fighters to end.
Either way though, I would not be disappointed if everyone in the band decided that was it for the foreseeable future. Taylor meant that much to the band that moving forward without him probably seems like something that doesn’t seem feasible at this current time, but time heals all wounds. But, it’s not the time to really even be thinking about when or if they will continue as a band. There will be time for that, but for now, there needs to be time to mourn Taylor Hawkins. The gap he leaves within the music community, but the music he left behind will last forever.