Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins had complained to confidantes about being weary and not being able to tour a full schedule anymore, prior to his death at 50 in March.
Multiple sources spoke to Rolling Stone more than a month after the veteran musician was found dead in a hotel in Colombia March 25, saying that Hawkins was unsure about touring again following the coronavirus pandemic and apprehensive about his ability to remain a full-time member of the band through a gauntlet of three-hour concerts.
The Foo Fighters and their reps declined to be interviewed for the story, but told the publication that ‘characterizations of how [Hawkins] was feeling’ were inaccurate.
The latest: Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins had complained to confidantes about being weary and not being able to tour a full schedule anymore, prior to his death at 50 in March. He was snapped last year in LA
Hawkins’ friend, vocalist Sass Jordan, told the outlet of the drummer: ‘Honestly, I think he was just so tired. Tired of the whole game.’
Another confidante of Hawkins, Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron, told the outlet that Hawkins had spoken with Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl about his feelings.
Cameron told Rolling Stone, ‘He had a heart-to-heart with Dave and, yeah, he told me that he ‘couldn’t f***ing do it anymore’ – those were his words. So I guess they did come to some understanding, but it just seems like the touring schedule got even crazier after that.’
A rep for the band said that Hawkins had never broached the topic with managers or Grohl and that ‘there was never a “heart-to-heart”‘ discussion on the topic.
Hawkins was unsure about touring again following the pandemic and apprehensive about his ability to remain a full-time member of the band through a gauntlet of three-hour concerts, multiple friends told the outlet. Hawkins was pictured in February in Tempe, Arizona
Hawkins’ friend, Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron, told the outlet that Hawkins had spoken with Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl about his feelings
Cameron subsequently took to Instagram Tuesday with a statement about the story, saying he erroneously believed it would ‘be a celebration of his life and work.’
He added: ‘My quotes were taken out of context and shaped into a narrative I had never intended … I am truly sorry to have taken part in this interview and I apologize that my participation may have caused harm to those for whom I have the deepest respect and admiration.’
Cameron said he has ‘only the deepest love for Taylor, Dave and the Foo Fighters families.’
Another friend of the late drummer, speaking to the outlet on condition of anonymity, said that Hawkins was relieved after telling Grohl he was looking to take a step back.
‘The fact that he finally spoke to Dave and really told him that he couldn’t do this and that he wouldn’t do it anymore, that was freeing for him,’ the source said, adding that it ‘took f***ing balls’ and ‘a year of working up the guts to do.’ (A Foo Fighters rep told Rolling Stone that Hawkins ‘never informed Dave and [management] of anything at all like that.’)
Friends of Hawkins said that he continued to remain on the road out of loyalty to bandmates and others who make a living working with the group.
Cameron (pictured in October in Dana Point, California) told the outlet, ‘He had a heart-to-heart with Dave and, yeah, he told me that he ‘couldn’t f***ing do it anymore’ – those were his words’
Cameron subsequently took to Instagram Tuesday with a statement about the story, saying he erroneously believed it would ‘be a celebration of his life and work’
Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith told the outlet that Hawkins told him, ‘I can’t do it like this anymore’ after he passed out on a plane late last year
Cameron told the outlet that a band like the Foo Fighters ‘is a big machine [with] a lot of people on the payroll, so you’ve got to really be cognizant of the business side of something when it’s that big and that has inherent pressure, just like any business.’
The anonymous source told Rolling Stone that Hawkins was under pressure to perform in more shows, despite saying that he was ‘just gonna do a couple,’ and wasn’t aware of how many he was slated to take part in. According to the outlet, the band played around 40 concerts last year and had scheduled almost 60 more for this year.
The anonymous source said Hawkins called him to complain after learning of a single concert in Australia the band added to its slate in March, as Hawkins had the understanding the schedule would be lighter moving ahead.
‘And he had every reason to believe that would happen,’ the source said. ‘He wanted to believe it.’
A rep for the band told Rolling Stone there was never any indication Hawkins was angry about the show in Australia or the schedule, which ‘had been established and in place for well over a year.’
Hawkins had ‘no limit’ on the amount of shows he agreed to play, according to the rep.
Cameron told Rolling Stone Hawkins ‘tried to keep up’ with the schedule and ‘just did whatever it took to keep up, and in the end he couldn’t keep up.’
Hawkins last June had told the outlet that he was coping with anxiety in regards to stage fright and ‘trying really hard to figure out how to continue to keep the intensity of a young man in a 50-year-old’s body, which is very difficult.’
Hawkins was seen at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last October in Cleveland
A mourner placed a candle outside of a memorial at the Casa Medina Hotel in Bogota, Colombia March 26, a day after Hawkins was found dead in his room
A tribute to Hawkins was on the marquee of the Hollywood Palladium in LA March 30
Numerous friends of Hawkins told the outlet that Hawkins had passed out on a plane in Chicago last December.
Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith told the outlet, Hawkins ‘was dehydrated and all kinds of stuff’ and ‘just said he was exhausted and collapsed, and they had to pump him full of IVs and stuff;’ adding that he told him, ‘I can’t do it like this anymore.’
A rep for the Foo Fighters told Rolling Stone that the stories of the incident on the plane were ‘not true.’
Hawkins, who previously played drums for Alanis Morissette, first joined the Foo Fighters in 1997 after William Goldsmith left the band, first appearing on the band’s 1999 album There Is Nothing Left to Lose. He also had put out three records with his side band Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders.
He was close with Grohl, who described him as his ‘best friend’ and ‘brother from another mother’ in his 2021 book The Storyteller.
The Attorney General’s Office of Colombia said in a statement (translated from Spanish) in March that ‘the toxicology test on urine from Taylor Hawkins’ body preliminarily found 10 types of substances, including: THC, tricyclic antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and opioids,’ and that ‘the National Institute of Legal Medicine is continuing medical studies to completely clarify the cause of death.’