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A timeline of Taylor Hawkins' life, accomplishments

On March 25, the rock and roll community was devastated by the loss of musician Taylor Hawkins, formerly of the band Foo Fighters. His life ended at only 50 years old due to a cardiac arrest episode inside his hotel in Bogotá, Colombia. There is always time to mourn, so instead, in celebration of this rock idol, here is a recount of Taylor’s life, accomplishments and moments that defined him as both an artist and human being. 

Oliver Taylor Hawkins was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1972, but his family quickly moved to Laguna, California, where he spent almost all of his childhood. After graduating high school in Laguna, Hawkins joined a band known as Sylvia based out of Orange County, California, when he was discovered by Canadian singer/musician Sarah “Sass” Jordan in a music shop.

 According to Taylor, Jordan “took [him] on the road and taught [him] how to be in a rock n’ roll band.” Hawkins played with Jordan for approximately two years and gives her credit for opening the door for the rest of his career.

After touring with Jordan, Hawkins tried out to play drums with another famous Canadian singer by the name of Alanis Morrisette, before she blew up in the states with her hit single “You Outta Know.”

Hawkins always swore that he ruined Morrisette’s music by “adding all sorts of crazy drum stuff all over it” but “she dug it, so we went with it.”

Once Morrisette gained immense popularity and a tour was imminent, Hawkins agreed to be a part of her accompanying band until March of 1997 when his life would drastically change. 

Hawkins, who was a fan of the little known band the Foo Fighters, heard on the radio one day that they were in the market for a new drummer, so he gave the lead singer and guitarist, Dave Grohl, a call in interest of filling the spot. As the story goes, Hawkins calls and says “Hey, I heard you're looking for a drummer” to which Grohl responds “Yeah…do you know anyone?”

Grohl was under the impression that there was no way Hawkins would give up his touring position with Alanis Morrisette to join the Foo Fighters, but once he heard that was exactly what Hawkins was aiming to do, he happily welcomed him into the band. 

Similar to Grohl, Hawkins was known for goofing around, always wearing a big grin on his face which is one of the reasons Grohl often described him as his “spirit animal” making their friendship legendary unto itself. 

While with the Foo Fighters, Hawkins recorded 9 studio albums and won 15 awards, three of which were at this year's Grammy and were accepted by presenter Jimmy Jam on the band's behalf.

Needless to say, the Foo Fighters' success has been on a constant upward curve ever since Hawkins joined, but that didn’t stop him from starting his own side projects as the years rolled by. 

One of those more famous side projects was a band he fronted known as Taylor Hawkins and The Coattail Riders. 

Guitarist Chris Chaney, from the well-known group Jane's Addiction was a core member of the band and a fair amount of guest appearances such as the guitarist and drummer from the band Queen (Brian May and Roger Taylor) were made throughout their three album career. 

Hawkins was also one of three lead drummers in a drumming supergroup known as the SOS Allstars which opened at the Live Earth concert in London in 2007. He performed alongside Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Roger Taylor of Queen as the other front men in this group performance. 

Hawkins appeared as the drummer for countless other bands and even on solo albums such as Slash’s(guitarist of Guns and Roses) self-titled solo debut. 

Throughout his career, Hawkins touched the souls of many people, both musicians he played with, and those who listened to their music, making him undisputedly a rock idol. A friend to all and a fantastic drummer, Oliver Taylor Hawkins will be missed by many both in and outside of the rock and roll community. 

All eyes are now on Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters to see what direction they will take the band or if they will stop playing all together. Regardless of what happens, we know that Taylor Hawkins will be looking down from rock and roll heaven, goofily grinning as always. 


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