- Feb 17, 1972
- Mar 25, 2022
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Oliver Taylor Hawkins (February 17, 1972 – March 25, 2022) was an American musician, best known as the drummer of the rock band Foo Fighters, with whom he recorded eight studio albums between 1999 and 2021. Before joining the band in 1997, he was the touring drummer for Sass Jordan and for Alanis Morissette, as well as the drummer in the progressive experimental band Sylvia.
In 2004, Hawkins formed his own side project, Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders, in which he played drums and sang, releasing three studio albums between 2006 and 2019. He formed the supergroup NHC with Jane’s Addiction members Dave Navarro and Chris Chaney in 2020, where he also took on lead vocal and drumming duties.
Hawkins was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2021 as a member of Foo Fighters. He was voted “Best Rock Drummer” in 2005 by the British drumming magazine Rhythm. He died at the age of 50 on March 25, 2022, in Bogotá, Colombia. […]
After touring through the spring of 1996, Foo Fighters entered a Seattle studio with producer Gil Norton to record their second album. Conflict during recording reportedly erupted between Dave Grohl and drummer William Goldsmith, eventually causing Goldsmith to leave the band. The band regrouped in Los Angeles and almost completely re-recorded the album with Grohl on drums. The album, The Colour and the Shape, was released on May 20, 1997. Grohl called Hawkins, an acquaintance at the time, seeking his recommendations for a new drummer to join the band. Grohl was under the impression that Hawkins would not leave Morissette’s touring band, given she was a bigger act than Foo Fighters at the time. To Grohl’s surprise, however, Hawkins volunteered to join the band himself, explaining that he wanted to be a drummer in a rock band rather than for a solo act. The band announced Hawkins would be its new drummer on March 18, 1997. Hawkins first appeared with the Foo Fighters in the music video for the 1997 single “Monkey Wrench”, although the song was recorded before he joined the band.
In addition to his drumming with the Foo Fighters, Hawkins also provided vocals, guitar, and piano to various recordings. He performed the lead vocal on a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Have a Cigar”. Two versions of the song were released, one as the B-side to “Learn to Fly” and another on the Mission: Impossible 2 soundtrack album. He later sang lead vocals on “Cold Day in the Sun” from In Your Honor, which was later released as a single, as well as a cover of Cream’s “I Feel Free”, which appeared as the B-side of “DOA” and on the EP Five Songs and a Cover. Hawkins also sang lead vocals for the band’s cover of Joe Walsh’s “Life of Illusion”. Later, he sang lead vocals for “Sunday Rain”, a track on the Foo Fighters’ 2017 album Concrete and Gold. He sang lead vocals on some songs during Foo Fighters live shows, such as a cover of Queen’s “Somebody To Love” on his last concert with the band. He also contributed to the band’s songwriting, and was listed as a co-writer on every album since There Is Nothing Left to Lose.
Hawkins’ final performance with the Foo Fighters before his death was at the Lollapalooza Argentina festival on March 20, 2022. Hawkins posthumously won three Grammys with the Foo Fighters on April 3, 2022. […]
Taylor’s sudden death came as a shock to me and the people who knew and loved him. Not only was he a GREAT drummer but his personality was big and shiny and will be sorely missed by all who were lucky to live and work alongside him.
I was asked by the Foo Fighters to play on one of their tracks. It turned out that they wanted me to play drums! – on one of Taylor’s songs. This request came from a group with TWO amazing drummers! It was an incredible session and cemented my relationship with Taylor and the guys. Later they asked if I would induct them into the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame. I sang with them on ‘Get Back’. Taylor provided a powerhouse drum part. I’ll never forget that night. All of which made it much more of a desperately sad shock to hear he had died. So thanks Taylor for sharing some glorious minutes with me. You were a true Rock and Roll hero and will always remain in my heart.
God bless his family and band – Love PaulFrom Paul McCartney on Facebook, March 30, 2022
Last updated on December 23, 2022