We mourn the untimely loss of one of the most pure-tee badass drummers I ever did hear tell of.
Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins has passed away at the age of 50, according to a statement from the band.
A cause of death has not yet been disclosed.
Whatever the cause turns out to have been, I’m mighty sorry to hear this news. Check out this great old (1998?!? That CAN’T be right) live footage, from some outdoor festival or other up in soggy Vancouver.
The above show marked my first exposure to Hawkins, who blew me away completely. He’s the only kind of drummer I ever really liked: laying down a solid, rock-steady rhythm, gangly arms and legs flailing wildly about, rivers of honest sweat flowing from the opening number; throwing his entire body into pounding those skins so danged hard the front five rows would be in pain from the bludgeoning for days after—in sum, a perfect marriage of flawless technique; originality, passion, and style; and just sheer, fangs-bared ferocity. Seeing him play, you almost had to feel sorry for those poor drum heads and sticks, so profound was their ordeal.
Dave Grohl is a supremely talented multi-instrumentalist, a top-tier drummer, and a bona fide rock star his own self (Grohl, remember is the guy who propelled Nirvana to legendary status; the band spent years spinning their wheels and going nowhere until signing him on). As such, only a monster ass-kicker could ever play drums behind him, or would ever dare to attempt it. The Foo Fighters kept Taylor around for many a long year, which speaks volumes all by itself.
Fare thee well, Taylor Hawkins. You’ll surely be missed, and sorely. Your departure leaves your bandmates with some mighty big shoes to fill; I can’t say I envy them the task.
Update! Doubt me concerning Hawkins’ rabid-gorilla approach as a confirmed Brutalizer of Beat? Think I must be exaggerating the raw, impassioned fury of Taylor’s inimitable attack? Pick up the above vid at, say, 1:35 or so, watch that big tall drink of water slash and burn his way through the turnaround—this is but one of many examples, there are many more. After you do, come back and tell me you still feel that way.