Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Remembering Taylor Hawkins

The world lost Taylor Hawkins two years ago, but his absence is ever present
Taylor Hawkins’ iMDB

On March 5, 2022, the world lost one of the most famous and acclaimed drummers in music history. Taylor Hawkins, drummer for Alanis Morissette and hit rock band Foo Fighters left an enormous hole in the world.

Hawkins was a drummer in Foo Fighters for nearly 25 years and was best friends with front man Dave Grohl. Hawkins spent his childhood in Laguna, Calif. where he joined his first band, Sylvia, out of high school.

Hawkins was a drummer for singer/songwriter Alanis Morissette for two years before joining the Foo Fighters. Hawkins’ friendship with Grohl led to him joining Grohl’s band, Foo Fighters, despite having a larger audience touring with Morissette.

Hawkins’ early inspirations were Queen drummer Roger Taylor, Rush drummer Neil Peart and The Police drummer Stewart Copeland; Hawkins found drumming in his teenage years listening to such icons of rock music. He taught himself by drumming along to his favorite songs and emulating his idols. It’s no stretch to say he would have made all of them proud.

While Hawkins might be best known for his drumming in the Foo Fighters, he released multiple solo projects and appeared alongside other well-known musicians such as Slash.

At the age of 50, Hawkins died of a drug overdose while on tour with the Foo Fighters. After the first run of shows without Hawkins, Grohl shared a handwritten message to fans on Instagram: “Now that we’ve returned from our first run of shows, I felt compelled to reach out and thank you all for being there for us. Every night, when I see you singing, it makes me sing harder. When I see you screaming, it makes me scream louder. When I see your tears, it brings me to tears.”

In 2022, the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert was held in London and televised worldwide. The nearly six-hour concert featured Joan Jett, Miley Cyrus, Kesha and many more artists. Artists from a range of backgrounds had nothing but kind words to say about Hawkins. Multiple famous drummers from various bands paid tribute to the late performer, covering versions of Foo Fighters songs and of Hawkins’ idols.

Perhaps the most memorable moment of the concert featured Hawkins’ son, Shane, who joined the Foo Fighters on stage to drum for one of their most famous songs, “My Hero.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone hit the drums as hard as this person,” Grohl said before introducing Shane to the stage. At just 16 years old, Shane took his father’s place at the drum kit and delivered a tear-jerking performance of one of the band’s most intensely drum-oriented songs.

Grohl can be heard singing, choked up, with tears in his eyes watching Hawkins’ son. Shane hits the drums with so much passion and skill, it’s as if Taylor was pulling his strings. Over two years later, it’s hard not to be moved by this passionate, personal performance.

Many have speculated who the song “My Hero” was written for. Fans have theorized that the song was based on Nirvana front man, Kurt Cobain. Grohl and Cobain were close friends up until Cobain’s untimely death. Grohl has stated that the song is more about “ordinary people” rather than a specific celebrity or person in mind. Despite this, there is no doubt that on Sept. 27, 2022, with the rest of the band on stage, Grohl was singing to Hawkins.

“There goes my hero, watch him as he goes,” Grohl sang shakily.

“For those of you who knew him personally, you knew that nobody else could make you smile or laugh or dance or sing like he could. For those of you who admired him from afar, I’m sure you’ve all felt the same thing,” Grohl said at the tribute show, making it apparent that Hawkins’ influence and personality is greatly missed not only within the Foo Fighters fan base, but music world as a whole.

Olivia Baier can be reached at: [email protected]

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