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Tate Raub Headshot Tunes with Tate

Tunes with Tate: Reflecting on Taylor Hawkins' legendary career

The world started shimmering a little less bright on March 25 upon receiving the heart breaking news that Taylor Hawkins had passed away. 

Hawkins was born February 17, 1972, in Fort Worth, Texas, but grew up in Laguna Beach, California. Not long after his graduation from Laguna Beach High School in 1990, Hawkins found himself as the drummer for Sylvia, an Orange County, California-based band. Soon after, Hawkins became the drummer for British-born Canadian rock singer, Sass Jordan. 

June 1995 saw Hawkins embark on Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill Tour as her touring drummer. He toured with her until March 1997 after the end of the Can’t Not Tour. Throughout this almost two year journey, Hawkins was in the music videos for Morissette’s “You Oughta Know”, “All I Really Want” and “You Learn”. 

It just so happened that after the Foo Fighters’ spring 1996 tour ended, lead singer Dave Grohl and drummer William Goldsmith entered a state of conflict that resulted in Goldsmith leaving the band. Grohl re-recorded the drumming on The Color and the Shape himself, still leaving himself with need for a tour drummer. After calling his then acquaintance, Grohl was surprised that Hawkins was down to join the Foo Fighters and the rest is history.

Since the Foo Fighters’ 1999 album There is Nothing Left to Lose, Hawkins has been credited as a co-songwriter on every one of the band’s albums. For its most recent album, Medicine At Midnight, Hawkins’ posthumously won the Grammy Awards for Best Rock Performance for “Making A Fire”, Best Rock Song for “Waiting On A War” and Best Rock Album for Medicine At Midnight. All 15 of the band’s Grammy wins have come its way while Hawkins was breaking drumsticks with them. 

It is a given that Hawkins was a legendary drummer, but there is no Taylor Hawkins without his vocal, guitar and piano skills. He lent his voice to the background vocals of a ton of songs in addition to the songs where his singing was front and center such as the two versions of a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Have a Cigar”, “Cold Day in the Sun” from In Your Honor, a cover of “Life of Illusion” by Joe Walsh and many more. Hawkins’ countless other projects spanning from his self-titled LP to his collaborations with other artists such as Roger Taylor, Brian May, Chad Smith, Slash. etc planted his status of being a beloved rock star by just about everyone into the music industry’s ground. 

It’s easy to sit around and talk about Hawkins for hours on end from a general standpoint, but I think it’s worth taking some time to zoom in on his impact on a more personal level. Anyone who has even glanced at any of my music-related columns would find a pop heavy catalog of articles. However, I can’t remember a time that my dad didn’t have his favorite rock and roll albums playing in our garage. Some of it does blend together, but I started hearing the Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Queen, Alice in Chains and just about any other rock artist during my formative years. I have no doubt that Hawkins’ has been the drummer for the soundtrack of my childhood and countless core memories. He shaped the world of music for as long as his foot tapped his bass pedal, he put a guitar pick to his strings or picked up a microphone. The love the world gave him in return will cement his legacy and there is no question that his bandmates will keep his spirit alive.

Tate Raub is a sophomore studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Tate know by tweeting her @tatertot1310.

Tate Raub

Opinion Editor

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