Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins’ friendship was never about music. Grohl didn’t care about Hawkins’ skills when he asked him to be Foo Fighters’ drummer. All Grohl wanted was to travel the world with Hawkins. It had been love at first sight between the musicians.
When Hawkins fell into a coma following a heroin overdose in 2001, Grohl was ready to quit music if Hawkins didn’t pull through. What would be the point? Playing music was only half of their friendship.
Let’s hope Grohl hasn’t been having similar thoughts since Hawkins died on March 25
Dave Grohl said Taylor Hawkins came into his life like an F5 tornado
When Grohl met Hawkins, Grohl was still mourning the death of his Nirvana bandmate, Kurt Cobain, and Hawkins was drumming for Alanis Morissette. Before they played music together, they knew they had a bond.
So, when Grohl had an open drum seat in Foo Fighters, it was obvious who would fill it. It didn’t matter if Hawkins was as good as Grohl.
“Tearing through the room like an F5 tornado of hyperactive joy was Taylor Hawkins, my brother from another mother, my best friend, a man from whom I would take a bullet,” Grohl wrote. “Upon first meeting, our bond was immediate, and we grew closer with every day, every song, every note that we played together.
“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. Together, we have become an unstoppable duo, onstage and off, in pursuit of any and all adventure we can find. We are absolutely meant to be, and I am grateful that we found each other in this lifetime.”
Grohl told NME that he asked Hawkins to join Foo Fighters because of their emotional connection, not Hawkins’ drumming skills. He said that “there’s no such thing as a musical audition to join the Foo Fighters. It’s a much more emotional, personal thing. You could be the best drummer in the world, but you’d never be in this band if you didn’t fit.
“Everyone in this band fits for a reason. When I met Taylor, it took two-and-half minutes before we became best friends. It just happened. It’s that way in life, whether it’s a best friend, a lover or someone you know you’ll carry for the rest of your life.
“When he joined the band, his drumming was the least important factor – I just thought I want to travel the world with this guy, I want to jump on stage and drink beers with this person. That was my biggest concern.”
Grohl almost gave up music when Hawkins fell into a coma following his heroin overdose in 2001
While on tour in 2001, Hawkins overdosed on heroin. He was admitted to a London hospital and spent two weeks in a coma.
“I’ve seen so many people just lose it all with drugs and die,” Grohl told the Guardian. “So I freaked out.” Grohl stayed by Hawkins’ bedside for the entire two weeks. At 18, the Foo Fighters frontman had seen a friend have a heart attack after taking too much coke. Then he’d watched Kurt Cobain overdose on heroin in 1994.
“When Taylor wound up in hospital I was ready to quit music,” Grohl said. “Because, to me, it felt like music equalled death. I started praying. I’ve never been to church in my life, and I’m walking back from Taylor’s hospital to our hotel every night, praying out loud in the streets of London.
“I don’t even know if I believe in God. But I felt like, y’know, this is just not right, y’know, what kind of God would let this…”
Thankfully, Hawkins didn’t die. When he woke up, he turned to Grohl and, as the band did, told him to “f*** off.”
Foo Fighters have canceled all upcoming tour dates
On March 25, Foo Fighters shared a statement on their social media revealing Hawkins had died.
“The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved Taylor Hawkins,” the band wrote. “His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live on with all of us forever. Our hearts go out to his wife, children and family, and we ask that their privacy be treated with the utmost respect in this unimaginably difficult time.”
Hawkins had played with the band days before on the South America leg of their tour. He was found dead in his hotel room in Bogotá, Colombia. Colombian authorities have since released a preliminary toxicology report claiming that Hawkins had 10 substances in his body at the time of his death, including marijuana, opioids, and antidepressants.
Tributes have poured in from fans and celebrities. On March 29, the band canceled all upcoming tour dates. “It is with great sadness that Foo Fighters confirm the cancellation of all upcoming tour dates in light of the staggering loss of our brother Taylor Hawkins,” their statement read.
“We’re sorry for and share in the disappointment that we won’t be seeing one another as planned. Instead, let’s take this time to grieve, to heal, to pull our loved ones close, and to appreciate all the music and memories we’ve made together.
With Love, Foo Fighters.”
Fans are wondering whether Foo Fighters will perform at the Grammy Awards on April 3. Let’s hope that Foo Fighters will continue to make music when they’re ready.
How to get help: In the U.S., contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 1-800-662-4357.