Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins was “the last of a dying breed,” says a friend

Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)

Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)

The Struts’ Luke Spiller has remembered the late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins as “the last of a dying breed” ahead of a concert at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

The British frontman was close friends with the musician, who died in March aged 50, and is part of the tribute show’s line-up alongside members of Queen, Led Zeppelin and Nirvana.

He appeared in Hawkins’ 1970s cover band Chevy Metal and The Struts, which formed in Derby in 2012, supported Foo Fighters on a number of international tour dates from 2017 onwards.

Luke Spiller with The Struts (Courtesy The Struts/PA)

Luke Spiller with The Struts (Courtesy The Struts/PA)

Ahead of the performance, Spiller told the PA news agency Hawkins was a “really disarming” personality.

He added: “There are people in this industry who sometimes live and breathe their personality and what they are known for and what people want and expect from them.

“But he really wasn’t like that. He was always so friendly and approachable from the start.

“It takes you back because I personally think one of his greatest charms, just like a lot of the greats, was he never felt like he was as good as he was. Because of that, it was very humbling for him.”

Referring to Hawkins’ dedication to his craft, Spiller added, “Taylor was, I think, the last of a dying breed where they just fucking love music and are obsessed with it.

“You could literally get it right away, just after a 10 or 15 minute conversation.

“I don’t know exactly why, but he saw something in me, he constantly encouraged me.

“He called me out of the blue and asked me how everything was going and made sure I was properly taken care of, among a whole host of other things.”

Spiller said he was “extremely grateful to have known him in the time frame that I did.”

Hawkins joined the Foo Fighters in 1997 at the invitation of frontman Dave Grohl and after previously touring with Alanis Morissette.

Spiller said he was “the other face of the band” and recalled his “charisma and personality,” before adding, “To be honest, he was so much more than just a drummer.

“He was a great artist himself, a passionate songwriter, a really good singer and frontman and just very versatile.

“I think he touched people on many levels, across all genres, because he was just a fan of great music, not just a particular genre.”

The Wembley concert, which will be followed by a show in Los Angeles, is expected to be Foo Fighters’ first since Hawkins was found dead in his hotel room in Colombia in March at the age of 50.

No cause of death was given, although a preliminary toxicology report showed traces of 10 substances in his body, including opioids and marijuana.

Spiller took part in the first rehearsals in Los Angeles and described the stay there as a “strange experience”.

“The band hadn’t even met to make music since his death, so it was a light – I wouldn’t call it a dense atmosphere – it was definitely a happy atmosphere,” he said.

“Dave even pulled me aside. I said to him, ‘Buddy, I just wanted to say thank you for giving me the chance to come here today and I’m just happy to be a part of it in some way.’

“He said, ‘Look Luke, this concert isn’t going to be like a shitty funeral. Yes, it will be emotional, but we are here to celebrate and have a big party, celebrate his memory and do him justice.

“That’s exactly why they’re doing it at Wembley. There is no other venue in the world that Dave and the rest of the band could think of more than this place.”

The Saturday, September 3 show will be streamed live on Paramount+.

Directed by Joel Gallen and produced by Emer Patten at EP-PIC Films and Creative, the full concert will be available both live and on-demand.

Proceeds from ticket and merchandise sales will go to the charities Music Support and MusiCares, chosen by the Hawkins family.

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