After Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins died suddenly on March 25, 2022, the future of the band was in doubt, given the extremely close friendship that Hawkins shared with Foos frontman Dave Grohl as well as his crucial role in the lineup (he’d been a core member since 1997, co-writing on every album starting with 1999’s There Is Nothing Left to Lose). Four days after Hawkins’s death, Foo Fighters indefinitely canceled all of their future gigs, including a performance at the 64th annual Grammys ceremony (where they ended up bittersweetly winning three awards in absentia.)
While Grohl has occasionally made live surprise cameos — with Lionel Richie at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, with Billie Eilish at Los Angeles’s Forum, with Sir Paul McCartney at Glastonbury — the band’s only live performances have been at two all-star tribute concerts held in London and Los Angeles this past September. But now, Foo Fighters have confirmed in an emotional social media post that they will carry on without Hawkins — even though they will understandably be a "different band."
"As we say goodbye to the most difficult and tragic year that our band has ever known, we are reminded of how thankful we are for the people that we love and cherish most, and for the loved ones who are no longer with us," the band stated. “Foo Fighters were formed 27 years ago to represent the healing power of music and a continuation of life. And for the past 27 years our fans have built a worldwide community, a devoted support system that has helped us all get through the darkest of times together. A place to share our joy and our pain, our hopes and fears, and to join in a chorus of life together through music. Without Taylor, we never would have become the band that we were — and without Taylor, we know that we're going to be a different band going forward. We also know that you, the fans, meant as much to Taylor as he meant to you. And we know that when we see you again — and we will soon — he'll be there in spirit with all of us every night.”
The year and a half leading up to Hawkins’s shocking death had been an especially bustling and prolific time for the seemingly unstoppable Foo Fighters. They released their Grammy-winning 10th album Medicine at Midnight, the Record Store Day disco covers album Hail Satin, and the horror-comedy movie Studio 666; performed at President Joe Biden’s inauguration; received the Global Icon Award at the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards; and were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame by McCartney.
The Foo Fighters were also one of the first actively touring bands to get back onstage once COVID restrictions eased up in 2021, starting with a six-song set at SoFi Stadium’s Vax Live event on May 2 that year, followed by a full 23-song show at the 610-capacity Canyon Club in Agoura, Calif., to celebrate the “reopening” of Los Angeles County nightlife on June 15. The Foos also reopened New York’s Madison Square Garden just five days after the Canyon Club show and headlined several festivals, including Lollapalooza in Chicago. Overall, they played about 40 shows in 2021, and at the time of Hawkins’s death, there had been roughly 60 dates, throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Australia, on the Foo Fighters’ calendar for 2022.
Hawkins's final show with Foo Fighters was at Lollapalooza Argentina on March 20, 2022. Five days later, he was found dead in his hotel room in Bogotá, Colombia, just hours before the Foos were set to perform at the Estéreo Picnic Festival; in lieu of the concert, candles were placed onstage that night to honor him. Two months after his death, Rolling Stone published a bombshell report titled "Inside Taylor Hawkins's Final Days as a Foo Fighter," claiming that the drummer had been on the brink of exhaustion from playing so many physically taxing, nearly three-hour shows, and had been considering scaling back his duties or even quitting the band entirely because he “knew he didn’t have it in him.” The Foos’ camp never publicly addressed these claims, but two of Hawkins's close friends who were interviewed for the piece, Pearl Jam's Matt Cameron and the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith, blasted Rolling Stone's report.
A cause of death has still not been revealed, and Foo Fighters’ Dec. 31 statement did not mention who might replace Hawkins in the lineup or any specific plans for a new album or tour.
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