For the last few days, lovers of rock and roll and the Foo Fighters mourned the loss of one of the greatest drummers of our generation – Taylor Hawkins. It’s times like these we learn to love again indeed.
After consuming hundreds of posts, articles, videos, and tributes shared, I asked myself, why doesn’t this feel like enough? One of my generation’s rock gods is lost forever. In the age of social media and the height of information sharing, it seems the world is less invested when we lose our musical idols. Gone are the days of a few channels and major music magazines leading the conversation about loss of a cultural icon. As an eighties baby, I’ve witnessed the deaths of many talented musicians – Cobain, Cornell, Buckley, Prince…
For those of us that grew up with grunge and the Foo keeping rock alive when it was almost dead, this is the first time we’ve experienced the loss of a bandmate whose legacy is as big as its front man’s. There’s something endearing about watching videos and interviews with Dave and Taylor over the years. The camaraderie, the devotion, the sincere admiration, not only for one another’s talents, but for one another as men. Their warm words and embraces are something we’ve rarely seen from a rock-n-roll band—their bond, so pure.
It’s divine to watch two grown ass men, their creative brotherhood, displayed without apology, front and center, embracing and saying “I love you,” before they shred on the guitar, drums, and vox. Grohl describes their exceptional friendship in his memoir, The Storyteller, recounting their early days, “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.”
At what would be Dave’s last introduction of Taylor on stage, their brotherly affection truly shines. Taylor embraces Dave and immediately states, “I fucking love Dave Grohl, man.” Always a foil to one another – Taylor, the goofy, smiling blonde sleeveless beachboy alongside a more serious, smirking black-haired Dave, devoted to his craft, dawning his typical black tee. Both appreciative of the bands that came before them, as Taylor noted in his final interview with Rolling Stone in June of 2021, Grohl was more Led Zeppelin, Hawkins more Queen and Van Halen. That comparison illuminated at their final show, Hawkins dawning bright orange tiger tights and belting Queen’s “Somebody to Love” with Dave slaying on the drums.
If you ever saw the Foo live, you know some of the most exciting moments are not when Dave is front and center, but when Taylor takes the mic. My final Foo experience was at Bourbon and Beyond in 2019—before the pandemic, and the highlight of the evening was Taylor channeling his inner Freddie Mercury alongside Dave on the drumkit chiming in as Bowie, “Under Pressure.” Taylor always dreamed of being a front man, but as a drummer, he held his own behind the legacy of Dave’s drumming days with Nirvana. In a 2014 “60 Minutes” interview, Grohl praised Taylor’s technical skills in a matter-of-fact manner, stating, “I don’t necessarily miss being the drummer — because I have the greatest drummer in the world.”
In all the interviews over the years, Taylor was always appreciative of praise from Dave, often deflecting it, and finding a way to make the Foo Fighters about the magic he and Grohl created together, “There’s times when we get in jams and it’s a lot like the Who, a lot like Keith Moon and Pete Townshend. When he has guitar on and I’m on the drums and me and him do one of our fucking epic drum-rhythm guitar battles, where he’s playing drums on the guitar, and I’m playing the drums, and everyone else is kind of going,” okay, see where they go.” Those are the great moments.”
It’s painful to think those great moments are gone forever for lovers of the Foo. That idiosyncratic void surfacing – the loss of brotherly love and respect. The loss of a best friend, once again, for Dave Grohl—his twin flame fading out.