In pictures: Taylor Hawkins, a drummer who 'served the song'

Published
Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Tributes have poured in from musicians after the death of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins

Taylor Hawkins, drummer with one of the world's biggest rock bands, Foo Fighters, has died aged 50.

Hawkins performed with the band for more than two decades, joining shortly after they finished recording their 1997 album The Colour and the Shape.

Image source, Redferns / Getty Images
Image caption,
Hawkins joined the group, created by Dave Grohl, in 1997

Dave Grohl created Foo Fighters in 1994 after Nirvana disbanded following the suicide of lead singer Kurt Cobain.

Grohl, an acclaimed drummer, took on lead vocals and guitar in Foo Fighters.

BBC Radio 6 presenter and former drummer Matt Everitt says Hawkins had "to be pretty good" to be chosen to drum for the band.

"Dave Grohl is a legendary drummer, but Taylor was no less the musician at all," he says.

"For a start they wouldn't have had him in the band, if he didn't have the chops.

"He was shoulder-to-shoulder with Dave Grohl. He was brilliant"

Image source, Redferns / Getty Images
Image caption,
Rock singer Ozzy Osbourne described Hawkins as an amazing musician

Everitt, who interviewed Hawkins several times during shows in the UK, described the late drummer as having remarkable passion when playing and great taste.

"He served the song," he continues. "That's what all the best drummers do.

"They understand it's not just about how great your part is, but it's about how great the whole song is and knowing when to sit back on a song."

Grohl and Hawkins sometimes swapped roles during the band's concerts, with Hawkins taking on vocals.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Hawkins and Grohl "absolutely adored each other" BBC Radio 6 presenter Matt Everitt said
Image source, Fairfax Media / Getty Images
Image caption,
The band were on a tour of South America at the time of his death

Before Foo Fighters, Hawkins drummed for Alanis Morissette.

The Texas native was introduced to music by his brother and started out playing guitar but, inspired by Roger Taylor of Queen and Stewart Copeland of The Police, he soon switched to drums.

He drew influence from UK artists, and at almost every Foo Fighters concert stepped out from behind the drum kit to sing a track by his favourite band, Queen.

Brian May in a tribute described Hawkins as his "beloved child". He posted on Instagram: "Taylor, you were family to us."

Media caption,
Highlights of Foo Fighters' set at Glastonbury 2017 included Hawkins singing Queen

Everitt says: "He loved London. A lot of the bands he really loved came from the UK."

When in London he would make a pilgrimage to Trident Studios in Soho, London, where Davie Bowie and Queen recorded music.

Image source, Redferns / Getty Images
Image caption,
Hawkins drummed for Alanis Morissette before joining Foo Fighters
Image source, Wireimage / Getty Images
Image caption,
The late drummer was a big fan of legendary band Queen

But during 2001 visit to London, Hawkins spent two weeks in a coma after taking an overdose of heroin.

Speaking about the experience in 2018, he said it had been "a real changing point for me".

Hawkins and his wife, Alison, married in 2005. They have three children.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The father-of-three was married to Alison Hawkins

In 2011, Foo Fighters replied to a protest from a fundamentalist Christian church by performing a special gig for them.

Members of the Westboro Baptist church were picketing outside the Sprint Center, Kansas City, where the band were due to perform on Friday evening.

The group were dressed up and arrived on a flat-bed truck, before performing a track called Keep It Clean.

Image source, Wireimage / Getty Images
Image caption,
The Foofighters turned up to perform in protest against the Westboro Baptist church
Image source, WireImage / Getty Images

While the Foo Fighters were on break in 2013, Hawkins formed a rock cover band called Chevy Metal.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Taylor Hawkins released music, outside of Foo Fighters, with his band Chevy Metal

In 2021, Foo Fighters were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

According to Everitt, the stadium-fillers were not "resting on past glories" and still producing records.

"They weren't standing still," he adds. "Foo Fighters had more to say, which just makes the tragedy even more unbearable."

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Foo Fighters are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Paul McCartney
Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Hawkins was pictured performing at Lollapalooza Chile last week

Foo Fighters are currently on tour in South America.

Hawkins' final performance with the band was at the Lollapalooza festival.

The band had been due to perform on Friday night at the Estereo Picnic festival in Bogota, Colombia, before news of his death was announced.

All images subject to copyright.

Related Topics