Being a rock star is about more than just fame or charisma or importance – it’s even about more than talent. The real rock stars, the ones that last, that stay in the hearts and minds of fans for life, are also good human beings. There’s something to be said for cockiness and swagger, sure, especially when it’s married to genuine musical power – but it’s the nice guys that stick with us, that will always be remembered with respect and love.
Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins was one of those folks. We don’t just say this because of our interactions with him during the two ACL tapings we did with him and the rest of the Foos in 2008 and 2014. His wide smile in photographs, his good cheer onstage and in interviews, and the countless stories from fans and peers about the rays of sunshine he brought with him to any situation attest to that. His talent was, of course, undeniable – his skill on the drums (and other instruments) was matched only by his voracious appetite for all kinds of music. That made him versatile not only as a skinsbeater, but as a songwriter and performer in his own right, as anyone who’s heard his wideranging side projects Birds of Satan, Chevy Metal and Taylor Hawkins & the Coattail Riders can attest. And let’s not forget the Foos single “Cold Day in the Sun” and Concrete and Gold track “Sunday Rain” – both songs on which he took the lead.
Like everyone else who cares about music, we’re reeling from the news of his sudden death yesterday. We’re proud to have two incredible Foo Fighters shows in our catalog on which he kept time like an expert and radiated enthusiasm and pure rock & roll energy like the rock star he was. We were looking forward to seeing him again when the band returned for their next taping. But mostly we’re sending our thoughts and love out to his family and his bandmates, and we’re mourning our friend. May he rest in peace.
Austin fans can watch Foo Fighters Rock ACL, the Season 46 compilation episode, this coming Thursday on Austin PBS. That episode can also be streamed here.