This One Hurts: The Loss Of Taylor Hawkins Hits Hard On So Many Levels

How do you put into words every single one of your thoughts on such a tragic situation, not wanting to screw them up? You just fucking do it, not worrying about the aftermath. So, I am going to tell you a story, not very long, about my gut feeling when I heard the news of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins passing away.

I still remember the night when I was seventeen years old, getting so stoked to see the Foo Fighters, but also Taylor Hawkins. I was a drummer for two years in the high school band and I thought Hawkins was such a badass, along with the vocals of Dave Grohl. Maybe the first reason I got into the band was because my best friend was cousins with Taylor. But, I was a teenager in high school when I decided to tell my parents I was going to stay at a friend’s house that night and I’d see them in the morning sometime. Little did they know that the Foo Fighters were playing in Pensacola, which was about 90 minutes away.

Got in the car with some friends and went to the show, knowing somehow I was going to get in trouble for this in the days after. I didn’t give a shit, it was the freaking Foo Fighters, you would have done it as well. Song after song, I just fell into an escape of Rock & Roll, jamming out to what are now some of the bands greatest hits. The night was special, just like the quest to get over to the show, which I did pay for, about a week later because my dumb self decided to use a form of payment that would show up on a statement. Whatever, it was one of the best nights.

I can say that I experienced that same night at least ten more times over the next number of years, where in my mid-30’s I am still throwing on ‘Best of You’ in the car on a drive and hearing Taylor Hawkins absolutely destroy the drums or throwing on a Youtube clip of him singing “Under Pressure” in his edgy throwback to Queen. There are the countless memories and songs that the band wrote and played that shouldn’t be thrown into a ranking system, they are way too good for that.

Fast forward to Friday night, just enjoying some basketball, while texting with my two best friends in the world. One of my brothers just so happened to be Taylor Hawkins’ cousin. The relationship they shared was built even stronger on a recent trip for him to California to hang out with friends and see his cousin Taylor. It was special, the way he talked about him and how they look so damn alike, it still blows me away. So when he all the sudden texted us a message, during our conversation, saying that Taylor had passed, my head didn’t comprehend it at first. After a repeated “What?!”, he finally put it bluntly. Before the world knew, I was trying to comfort my brother who just lost a family member, because that’s what we do. We try to pick each other up when we are down, and this one stung.

I didn’t know how to feel, I just felt like we needed to express our love and tell him we are there for anything he needs. We don’t say it enough to the people we are the closest with, letting them know how much we care. Just fucking say it, “I Love You Bro,” which is something I just kept saying to my best friend as he lost someone so dearly to him.

I am not going to say my best friend’s name, but I’ll share with you what he wrote on Instagram.

“Taylor, you were a hero to me. You took me in this December when I was struggling just to live another day. Our deep, long, sometimes hilarious conversations left an indelible impression on me. You were the older brother I needed at that time and it will always meant the world to me. You told me to trust myself and my talents and to be patient with the journey.

“You were considered, loving, soulful, beautiful, had so much depth and care for people and cared little for material excess. I loved riding around in the old Toyota truck jamming to Chris Cornell with you. You knew where to find the good stuff with your family and friends .”

He finished with this, which is exactly how any fan of the Foo might think.

“Yes, Taylor is unequivocally one of the greatest drummers in the 20th and 21st centuries. His musical legacy will live on long after we are all gone. I want people to know that he was truly amazing in all the ways a man can be amazing.

“If anyone saw the Foos live, you should know what a toll their marathon shows took on him. But he always met my family and friends backstage with a smile, a hug, and a whole lot of love. He showed us some of the most memorable times of our lives. I’ll cherish all those memories and miss him every damn day.

“I hope all of you rock out to the Foo Fighters, NHC, and Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders all day in his honor.”

My best friend lost his family, the world lost a legend and now I just wanna go turn my volume up the highest level and jam out to some Foo Fighters.

Don’t forget his family, because those are the folks paying the ultimate price today.

Rock & Roll, Taylor.

Written by Trey Wallace

Wallace started covering the SEC in 2012, as the conference landscape was beginning to change. Prior to his time in Knoxville, Wallace worked in Nashville for The Read Optional, where he first produced content that garnered national attention. His passion for sports is evident in his work and has led him to break some of college football’s biggest stories. His social media reach and natural podcast proficiency continue to make Wallace one of SEC’s most trusted sources.

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  1. We were fortunate enough to see the Foos in concert a few times, most recently at the Forum in LA. Taylor mentioned at the show that as a kid, he’d come to the forum to see bands like Queen and he’d be sitting “Way the fuck up there”-(pointing to my seats). Then he covered the Queen song “Someone to Love” and it was next level! Imagine the pressure of playing the drums when arguably the best drummer on the planet in Grohl is looking over your shoulder. He did so for decades and not once, did I ever wish Grohl was at the kit…God speed, Taylor.

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