If there was one thing you could count on in rock music over the past 25 years, it was the consistent, near-constant presence of Foo Fighters. In 2022, however, the Dave Grohl-led band was dealt a devastating loss when drummer Taylor Hawkins unexpectedly died in March.
At the beginning of 2022, the Foos’ year was set to be just as full as any other. The band planned out tour dates in continued support of their 2021 album, Medicine at Midnight, and prepped the release of their first movie, a horror comedy called Studio 666. Grohl even recorded a whole album as the film’s fictional metal band, Dream Widow.
On March 25, Foo Fighters were scheduled to headline a festival in Colombia. That night, the band announced “the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved Taylor Hawkins.” He was 50 years old.
Tributes to Hawkins poured out from every corner of the music world. Foo Fighters canceled all of their upcoming tour dates, as well as their performance at the Grammys, which was scheduled for the following weekend. The ceremony instead played a video montage honoring Hawkins.
After months of silence from the Foo Fighters camp, the band announced in June that they’d be holding two tribute concerts to Hawkins in September. Shortly thereafter, Grohl performed publicly for the first time as a surprise guest during Paul McCartney‘s Glastonbury headlining set.
The tribute concerts, which were held in London and Los Angeles, boasted lineups that were basically the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame come to life. The artists who performed included McCartney, Metallica‘s Lars Ulrich, AC/DC‘s Brian Johnson, Joan Jett, and Queen‘s Brian May and Roger Taylor, as well as Miley Cyrus, Pink and Alanis Morissette, plus members of Nirvana, Soundgarden, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rush, Led Zeppelin, Def Leppard, Blink-182 and Black Sabbath. Both shows ended with Foo Fighters performing with guest drummers.
Even with all those big names and legends, the most moving performance of the concert belonged to Hawkins’ son, Shane, who played drums with Foo Fighters on the classic “My Hero.”
Despite his death, Hawkins’ playing was heard throughout 2022. He was posthumously featured on multiple releases, including Ozzy Osbourne‘s new solo album, Patient Number 9.
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