Taylor Hawkins’ friends criticize ‘misleading’ Rolling Stone article about the Foo Fighters drummer

Taylor Hawkins’ friends criticize ‘misleading’ Rolling Stone article about the Foo Fighters drummer

Published May 18, 2022
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Friends of the late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins are pushing back against a Rolling Stone article written about the musician’s final days.

“Inside Taylor Hawkins’ Final Days as a Foo Fighter,” published Monday, alleges Hawkins felt “hesitant about returning to the road” last June and was aggravated by the grueling pace of playing “nearly three-hour concerts night after night.”

Hawkins was found dead in a hotel room in Bogota, Colombia, on March 25. While a cause of death has not been released, 10 different substances — including THX (Marijuana), tricyclic antidepressants, benzodiazepines and opioids, among others —  were found in his body, according to a preliminary report from Colombia’s Attorney General’s Office.

Foo Fighters and their management declined to be interviewed for the story, according to Rolling Stone, but they disputed Hawkins’ friends’ “characterizations of how he was feeling” via a representative.

A representative for Foo Fighters referred USA TODAY to Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith’s social media posts and gave no further comment.

Cameron was interviewed for the piece, and according to the outlet, Hawkins “tried to keep up” with the band’s intense touring schedule. “There’s only a handful of guys in our profession that still play this intense high-energy, Nineties rock music,” Cameron said.

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“He had a heart-to-heart with Dave (Grohl) and, yeah, he told me that he ‘couldn’t (expletive) do it anymore’ — those were his words,” Cameron said. “So I guess they did come to some understanding, but it just seems like the touring schedule got even crazier after that.”

Cameron added: “(A band like that) 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.”

But on Tuesday, Cameron had a change of heart and issued a statement . 

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Cameron wrote on Instagram that he initially thought the article was going to be “a celebration of (Hawkins’) life and work” and that his “quotes were taken out of context and shaped into a narrative I had never intended.”

“Taylor was a dear friend, and a next level artist,” Cameron continued. “I have only the deepest love and respect for Taylor, Dave and the Foo Fighters families. 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 only the deepest respect and admiration.”

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Another friend of Hawkins, Smith, also spoke to Rolling Stone about the late Foo Fighters member.

According to the outlet, Smith said a pivotal realization for Hawkins came after he allegedly lost consciousness aboard a plane in Chicago in December. “He just said he was exhausted and collapsed, and they had to pump him full of IVs and stuff,” Smith recalled. “He was dehydrated and all kinds of stuff.”

Smith continued: “That was one of the straws that broke the camel’s back. After that, he had a real important heart-to-heart with Dave and the management. He said, ‘I can’t continue on this schedule, and so we’ve got to figure out something.’ “

Like Cameron, Smith also took to Instagram Tuesday to address the article, calling it “misleading.”

“Taylor was one of my best friends and I would do anything for his family,” Smith wrote . “I was asked by Rolling Stone to share some memories of our time together, which I thought was going to be the loving tribute he deserved. Instead, the story they wrote was sensationalized and misleading, and had I known I never would have agreed to participate.

“I apologize to his family and musical friends for any pain this may have caused. I miss Taylor every day.”

Foo Fighters canceled the remainder of their 2022 tour shortly after Hawkins’ death.

“Let’s take this time to grieve, to heal, to pull our loved ones close, and to appreciate all the music and memories we’ve made together,” the band said in a statement at the time.

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Contributing: Amy Haneline, Rasha Ali