Friends of Taylor Hawkins slam Rolling Stone report that Foo Fighters drummer was pushed to exhaustion

Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins performs in 2020. (Photo: Lester Cohen/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins performs in 2020. (Photo: Lester Cohen/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

A new bombshell report Rolling Stone, titled “Inside Taylor Hawkins’s Final Days as a Foo Fighter,” makes the disturbing claim that the legendary drummer was near exhaustion from playing nearly three-hour physically grueling shows, and at the time of his death was considering downscaling. . his duties with the Foos or even leave the gang altogether. Hawkins died at age 50 on March 25, just hours before the Foo Fighters were due to play Festival Estéreo in Bogotá, Colombia.

“Honestly, I think I was so tired. Tired of the whole game,” said blues singer Sass Jordan, for whom Hawkins played drums in the ’90s. Rolling Stone. Jordan also recalled Hawkins telling him, “Oh my God. I can’t look at the fucking tour schedule. It gives me anxiety.” At the time, there were 62 dates on the Foo Fighters schedule for 2022, across North America, South America, Europe, and Australia.

Rolling Stone conducted more than 20 interviews with friends and colleagues of Hawkins, including Jordan, Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith. Foo Fighters leader Dave Grohl and the other surviving Foos declined to be interviewed for the article; His publicist and management denied the allegations to the magazine’s four reporters and have not yet responded to Yahoo Entertainment’s request for comment. While Jordan has retweeted Rolling Stonearticle of In an apparent show of support, both Cameron and Smith criticized the post, claiming they were misled into believing they were contributing to a celebratory Hawkins retrospective, not an exhibition.

“Taylor was one of my best friends and would do anything for his family. I was asked by Rolling Stone talk about Taylor for a tribute article and I certainly didn’t expect it to be an article about his final days. Had I known that, I never would have spoken to the magazine, and I apologize for any pain my participation in the article may have caused her family and her musical friends. I miss him every day,” Smith told Yahoo Entertainment exclusively. Cameron posted a statement on Instagram expressing similar regret: “When I agreed to participate in the Rolling Stone article, I assumed it would be a celebration of his life and work. My quotes were taken out of context and molded into a narrative that I had never intended. … I am very sorry that I participated in this interview and I apologize that my participation may have caused harm to those for whom I have the deepest respect and admiration.”

The Foo Fighters were one of the first actively touring bands to return to the stage once COVID restrictions eased in 2021, beginning with a six-song set at SoFi Stadium’s all-star Vax Live event on May 2, followed by for a total of 23- song show at the 610-capacity Canyon Club in Agoura, California, to celebrate the “reopening” of Los Angeles County nightlife on June 15. Rolling Stone he actually interviewed Hawkins at his Los Angeles home that June morning, at which point he confessed that he was “really nervous” about the intimate club gig. “I have major stage fright, major, major, major. Like today is like, I’m in hell right now,” he said. Hawkins also mentioned that he had sleep apnea and an enlarged heart (or “runner’s heart”) and that he was “trying to figure out how to still maintain the intensity of a young man in a 50-year-old man’s body, which is very difficult.” .” However, he assured the publication that a doctor had recently “checked everything out” and told him that he was in “incredible shape.”

By mid-2021, all systems went with the Foo Fighters. While other bands their age were still returning to post-pandemic life and had few dates on the books, the Foos reopened New York’s Madison Square Garden just five days after the Canyon Club show; headlined several festivals, including Lollapalooza; received the Global Icon Award at the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards; and were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2021 by Paul McCartney. They also theatrically released a horror comedy film, study 666, and performed at the after party for the film’s premiere at the Fonda Theater in Hollywood. Overall, the band played around 40 shows in 2021, and as Hawkins looked ahead to his even more jam-packed 2022 schedule, he “knew he didn’t have it on him” but “was trying to deliver,” according to another Hawkins colleague who I talk to Rolling Stone under condition of anonymity.

“There’s only a handful of guys in our profession who still play this intense, high-energy rock music from the ’90s,” Cameron explained to Rolling Stone. “We both had to strike that balance of ‘we never want to complain,’ but there are real, specific things about what we do that are really challenging and really difficult. … It’s like we have to be able to run a marathon every time we go on stage, just because music requires that kind of energy.”

cameron also said Rolling Stone that Hawkins “had a heart-to-heart with Grohl and, yes, he told me he ‘couldn’t do it anymore,’ those were his words.” The unnamed source in the story corroborated Cameron’s account, saying: “The fact that [Hawkins] I finally talked to Dave and really told him I couldn’t do this and I wouldn’t do it anymore, that was liberating for him. That took fucking balls. That took a year of working with the guts to do it.” However, Cameron added: “I guess they came to an understanding, but it seems like the tour schedule got even crazier after that. … [A band like the Foo Fighters] it is a great machine [with] lots of people on the payroll. So you have to be really aware of the business side of something when it’s so big and has inherent pressure, like any business. … He tried to keep up. He just did whatever it took to keep up, and in the end he just couldn’t keep up.”

According Rolling Stone Quotes attributed to Smith, Hawkins passed out on board a plane from Chicago in December 2021. “He just said he was exhausted and collapsed and they had to fill him with serum and stuff. He was dehydrated and all sorts of things,” Smith said. After this health scare, which was “one of the straws that broke the camel’s back,” Smith said Hawkins told him, “I can’t do it like that anymore.” Smith also revealed that in his final months, Hawkins “was starting to lift weights and drink these electrolytes and was really trying to do things to help him play at the level he wanted to play at,” recalling a time when Hawkins confessed to him, “Man, it hurts. My body hurts.”

Hawkins’ last concert with Foo Fighters was at Lollapalooza Argentina on March 20, 2022. Five days later, he was found dead in his hotel room in Bogotá before the band headlined the Estéreo Picnic Festival. (In lieu of that performance, candles were placed onstage to honor Hawkins.) Four days later, the Foo Fighters canceled all future shows indefinitely “in light of the staggering loss of our brother.” The official cause of Hawkins’ death has not yet been released.

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