More than coworkers. Taylor Hawkins and Dave Grohl played together in Foo Fighters for 25 years, but their friendship also flourished outside the studio.
When the duo first met in the mid-1990s, Grohl was already world famous as the drummer for Nirvana. In April 1994, however, the band’s career came to a tragic end when frontman Kurt Cobain died by suicide at age 27. The Ohio native later initially thought he wouldn’t play music again after the loss of his bandmate, but by late 1994, he had started work on the project that would become Foo Fighters.
Hawkins, meanwhile, was working as a drummer for Alanis Morissette, whose debut solo album, Jagged Little Pill, blew up after its release in June 1995. The late musician and Grohl kept bumping into each other on the tour circuit. When Foo Fighters’ original drummer, William Goldsmith, left the band during the recording of their debut album, The Colour and the Shape, Grohl tapped Hawkins as his replacement.
“Upon first meeting, our bond was immediate, and we grew closer with every day, every song, every note that we ever played together,” Grohl wrote in his 2021 memoir, The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music. “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.”
Though the Queens of the Stone Age collaborator was impressed by Hawkins’ percussion skills, he was equally as intrigued by his personality. “When he joined the band, his drumming was the least important factor,” Grohl told NME in February 2021. “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.”
The two men were still traveling the world together playing music until Hawkins’ death in March 2022 at age 50. The Texas native was found dead in a hotel room in Bogotá, Colombia, while the Foo Fighters were in the country for the South American leg of their tour. The band announced the news in a statement shared via social media.
“The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved Taylor Hawkins,” the band wrote at the time. “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.”
A cause of death was not immediately determined, but Colombian authorities 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.
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Keep scrolling for a look back at Grohl and Hawkins’ friendship through the years.