My unforgettable musical evening with Taylor Hawkins

By Jayjay Epega :

Taylor Hawkins pictured at the Arclight Theatre in Los Angeles 2013 (Kevin Winter/ Getty Images)
Dave Grohl with brother and best friend Taylor Hawkins, Seattle, Washington 1997

“There goes my hero, watch him as he goes, there goes my hero, he’s ordinary.” – HERO : The Foo Fighters

The tweet, sums it up, it was something I would on occasion casually mention on social media.

A day before the 2002 MTV Awards, staying at the Hotel Arts in Barcelona, I had wandered into the lobby area and as I entered I heard someone playing Frank Sinatra tunes on the grand piano. I was instantly interested in hearing more, I loved the classics, Sinatra in particular and was curious to see who was playing so beautifully. As I approached, I remember telling the gentleman how wonderfully he sounded and could I show him the one tune I could play ‘Night and Day’. He said ‘why don’t we play it together…”. We played for a bit, played some other tunes and he showed me some new notes.

Taylor Hawkins plays the piano : image courtesy

All I remember was that we had a long conversation about Los Angeles , and I recall telling him about my time as a student at the University of Southern California and the crazy and memorable times I had when I lived in California. About himself? He mentioned that his name was Taylor, he was from Los Angeles and that he worked in the music business. I spent maybe about an hour or so chatting and we joked that we should meet up for a drink when we were both next in L.A., that was it, he was a lot of fun to talk to.

It was only during the show the next day, while watching the main MTV Awards, that I noticed that my new friend Taylor, was the drummer for the Foo Fighters! It was the funniest and sweetest thing ever. He must have realised I didn’t recognise him, and during all our conversation he showed no ego whatsoever and was simply adorable. I never forgot that. I saw the Foo Fighters at the Brit Awards years later, and on several occasions would always watch from a distance with so much fondness, their global success, ultimate youthful energy and the precious bond of brotherhood he had with Dave Grohl, it was always wonderful to see.

My heart truly breaks for his beloved family, the Foo Fighters and everyone who loved him. The Los Angeles Times described Hawkins as someone who “didn’t merely equal Grohl in terms of rhythmic thunder, he matched his bandmate’s cheerful disposition.

Taylor Hawkins (Image courtesy @Sussexmusic )
Hawkins and bandmate Dave Grohl ( Image: Getty Images for NARAS)

Both musicians made it seem as if there was nothing better than being in a rock ’n’ roll band. “

There will never be anyone else like him.

He touched the universe,

“Every line, every word, every noun and verb, can’t define you…” as Anderson Paak sang – “A Fire in The Sky”, forever and always.

Rest in love and peace, dear Taylor.

For Oliver Taylor Hawkins 17th February 1972 – 25th March 2022

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