Drummers have needed to study to stay with satirical jokes about their musicianship or features of their personalities, however Taylor Hawkins proved that the drummer may very well be a star in his personal proper, and in addition that being a drummer might co-exist fortunately with being a singer, songwriter and bandleader.
Hawkins, who has died immediately aged 50 whereas on tour with Foo Fighters in Colombia, had been a member of the group since 1997. His first album with them was There Is Nothing Left to Lose (1999), which reached the Prime 10 within the US and the UK and introduced them their first Grammy award (for finest rock album).
Hawkins was on the drumkit for seven additional Foo Fighters albums, as they established themselves as one the world’s prime rock acts drawing devoted hordes of followers internationally. Thus far they’ve received 12 Grammys, and their persistently profitable albums have topped the US album chart twice and the UK chart 5 occasions. Their newest album, Medicine at Midnight, is nominated for 3 Grammys, with the awards ceremony due on 3 April.
Along with his musicianship, Hawkins introduced humour, enthusiasm and character to the group. In addition to singing on the Foo Fighters songs Cold Day in the Sun and Sunday Rain, he would typically sing cowl variations with the band and was an everyday songwriting contributor on their albums. Current stay reveals had discovered him seizing the microphone to step into Freddie Mercury’s sneakers – not a job for the faint-hearted – and carry out an outsized model of Queen’s Someone to Love, as he did at his last efficiency with the band at Lollapalooza Argentina on 20 March.
In the meantime he at all times threw himself into his work behind the drums with passionate, arm-flailing depth. His blond hair and athletic body gave him the air of getting simply stepped out of the California surf, accentuated by his fondness for sleeveless T-shirts and Bermuda shorts. However he mixed showmanship with technical talent, coupled with a data and respect for musical historical past.
He recalled how attending a Queen live performance in 1982 was a life-changing expertise – “it was the start of my obsession with rock’n’roll, and I knew that I wished to be in an enormous rock band”.
Certainly one of his fundamental inspirations was Queen’s drummer Roger Taylor, alongside the Police’s Stewart Copeland, Phil Collins, U2’s Larry Mullen and Stephen Perkins from Jane’s Habit. He additionally picked up some suggestions from the jazz drummers Gene Krupa and Buddy Wealthy.
Hawkins was born in Fort Price, Texas, to Terry Hawkins, a businessman, and his spouse, Elizabeth Ann. He had two older siblings, Heather and Jason. In 1976 the household moved to Laguna Seashore, California, and Hawkins graduated from Laguna Seashore highschool in 1990. When he was 10 his dad and mom purchased him a drum equipment, which proved to be a pivotal second.
“I used to be a fats, chubby, silly child who failed at every part and whom no person preferred,” he later recalled. “Then I began taking part in drums.” His mom was at all times supportive of his efforts at singing and taking part in drums. “She was a giant supporter and instructed me I’d make it,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald. “She counteracted Dad’s stony coldness, typical of a Nineteen Seventies man.”
He started performing with native teams, and after being drummer for the progressive rock-influenced outfit Sylvia he joined the backing group for the vocalist Sass Jordan. Then his profile obtained a significant enhance when he was recruited to affix Alanis Morissette’s band as she toured her 1995 breakthrough album Jagged Little Capsule (it offered greater than 30m copies worldwide). Hawkins appeared within the video for You Oughta Know, the album’s first single, which helped set off its meteoric success, and in addition within the video for You Learn.
It was whereas he was touring with Morissette that Hawkins bought to know Dave Grohl, founding father of Foo Fighters, since they might typically be on the identical pageant payments. The pair instantly struck up a detailed rapport on each a private and musical stage, as Grohl described. “Our musical relationship – the inspiration of that’s our friendship, and that’s why once we bounce up on stage and play, we’re so related, as a result of we’re finest buddies.”
When Foo Fighters wanted a drummer in 1997, after William Goldsmith stop through the making of the band’s second album, The Color and the Form, Hawkins was the plain alternative. The truth that he additionally had ambitions as a singer and songwriter meant that he had little hesitation in giving up his job with Morissette.
Alongside his Foo Fighters work, Hawkins launched three albums together with his band, Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders, performed cowl variations with Chevy Steel, launched an album with the Birds of Devil, and had one other album due for launch in 2022 with NHC, which featured Hawkins alongside Dave Navarro and Chris Chaney from Jane’s Habit.
Hawkins is survived by his spouse, Alison, whom he married in 2005, and their youngsters, Oliver, Annabelle and Everleigh.