30 March 2022

Paul McCartney: Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins was a rock and roll hero

30 March 2022

Sir Paul McCartney has paid tribute to Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins saying he was a “true Rock and Roll hero”.

Fifty-year-old Hawkins was on the South American leg of the band’s world tour when his sudden death was announced at the weekend, after he had taken ill at his hotel in northern Bogota.

Hawkins had played in the Foos with former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl on vocals for more than two decades, alongside Nate Mendel, Pat Smear, Chris Shiflett and Rami Jaffee.

Taylor Hawkins performs during a charity concert at Wembley Stadium (PA) (PA Archive)

Sir Paul wrote, alongside a picture of himself and Hawkins, on Instagram: “Taylor’s sudden death came as a shock to me and the people who knew and loved him.⁣

Reminiscing about the work they did together, Sir Paul said: “I was asked by the Foo Fighters to play on one of their tracks. It turned out that they wanted me to play drums! – on one of Taylor’s songs.

“This request came from a group with TWO amazing drummers! It was an incredible session and cemented my relationship with Taylor and the guys.

“Later they asked if I would induct them into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I sang with them on Get Back.

⁣“Not only was he a GREAT drummer but his personality was big and shiny and will be sorely missed by all who were lucky to live and work alongside him.⁣

“Taylor provided a powerhouse drum part. I’ll never forget that night.

“All of which made it much more of a desperately sad shock to hear he had died. So thanks Taylor for sharing some glorious minutes with me. You were a true Rock and Roll hero and will always remain in my heart.⁣⁣“God bless his family and band – Love Paul X.”

Hawkins joined Foo Fighters in 1997, having previously toured with Alanis Morrissette.

In 2021, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the band by Sir Paul.

Taylor Hawkins with his Foo Fighters band mates (left to right) Nate Mendel, Pat Smear, Taylor Hawkins, Dave Grohl and Chris Shiflett (PA) (PA Wire)

A feature of the Foos live shows often included lead singer Grohl and Hawkins swapping roles with the drummer belting out Queen’s Somebody to Love while Grohl played the drums.

Hawkins also starred with the band in their recently released film, Studio 666.

Outside of the Foo Fighters, he drummed and sang for Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders, and had also formed a rock cover band, Chevy Metal.

The Foo Fighters announced they were cancelling all of their upcoming tour dates “in light of the staggering loss of our brother Taylor Hawkins”.

They said on Instagram: “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.”

They were scheduled to perform at the Grammys on April 3.

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