The Taylor Hawkins Memorial Concert


On September 3rd, Wembley Stadium in London, England was filled with fans of the Foo Fighters, one of the most influential rock bands of the last few decades, who came to commemorate late drummer Taylor Hawkins. Foo Fighters frontman and lead singer Dave Grohl was joined by a lineup of over thirty artists, including members of Queen, Sir Paul McCartney, AC/DC, Travis Barker, Liam Gallagher, and Taylor Hawkins’ son, Shane Hawkins. Together, they hosted a concert that ran for almost five hours, with all proceeds going to charities devoted to promoting mental wellness in the music community, as requested by the Hawkins family. 

Hawkins passed away at 50 on March 25, 2022, in Bogota, Colombia, where the Foo Fighters were scheduled to play. No cause of death was given. He joined the Foo Fighters in 1999 for their third album, “There Is Nothing Left To Lose”. Hawkins had a remarkable career, amassing 7 platinum albums, 12 Grammy awards, and a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction. 

Taylor Hawkins began his drumming career at the age of ten in Southern California, where he grew up. He was inspired by Queen drummer Roger Taylor, who played at Hawkins’ memorial concert. He got his start as a professional drummer for artists on tour, his biggest break being with Alanis Morissette. This was when he met Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, who was at the time the drummer for Nirvana. He later left this gig to work with the Foo Fighters.

“I love the Foo Fighters, and it was a sad day when Taylor Hawkins died. His music means so much to me and his fans,” said Zach Schiller, ‘23.

Mr. Greenhut, an Upper School Geometry teacher, has been following Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters since their early days. 

“When Kurt Cobain died during my sophomore year of high school, I was crushed. So when Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl started the Foo Fighters, I was immediately interested and ultimately became a huge fan. […] His (Hawkins’) death came as a big shock to me and actually hit me as hard as any other celebrity death to date (only Chris Cornell would surpass). This was not some old guy that I grew up listening to, this was a current, vibrant, young guy who is only a few years older than me,” said Mr. Greenhut.

Over the course of his career, Hawkins grew a massive fan base, which was apparent when about 75,000 people gathered at Wembley Stadium in his honor. The Foo Fighters played a variety of their own songs, including stripped down versions of “Everlong” and “Times Like These” from a tearful Dave Grohl. Perhaps the most memorable performance of the night was when Shane Hawkins performed “My Hero” on the drums with the band, an emotional dedication to the role model that his father was to him. 

Clips of these performances can be found on YouTube, and the full version can be watched on Paramount Plus. There will be a second show on September 27th at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles. This will be available to stream on YouTube.