Report: Friends Say Taylor Hawkins Wanted to Tour Less With Foo Fighters
Friends of the musician have reportedly claimed that late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins told them he wanted to cut back on touring with the Dave Grohl-led rockers in his final days.
One of them, Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron, said to Rolling Stone in a contentious story that Hawkins confided to him he "couldn't fucking do it anymore." (UPDATE: Cameron has since responded in a statement that his words "were taken out of context.")
However, through a representative, Foo Fighters disputed the characterization that emerged in the article this week. Hawkins unexpectedly died in March while on tour with the Foos, the rock band canceling all their tour dates soon after. He was 50.
On Monday (May 16), Cameron said of Hawkins in a surprising revelation, "He had a heart-to-heart with Dave and, yeah, he told me that he 'couldn't fucking do it anymore' — those were his words."
The Pearl Jam drummer, also known for his work in Soundgarden and several other acts, collaborated with Hawkins in Nighttime Boogie Association.
"I guess they did come to some understanding," Cameron continued, "but it just seems like the touring schedule got even crazier after that. … He tried to keep up. He just did whatever it took to keep up, and in the end he couldn't keep up."
Singer Sass Jordan, who Hawkins backed early in his career, added, "I think he was just so tired. Tired of the whole game." Another Hawkins friend, who remained anonymous for Rolling Stone, agreed. "He finally spoke to Dave and really told him that he couldn't do this and that he wouldn't do it anymore," they said.
Still, according to the story, it seems Hawkins relented to a schedule outside of his wishes. Last June, Hawkins told Rolling Stone he was 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."
Cameron remarked this week, "[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." (Cameron is currently out from touring with Pearl Jam after testing positive for COVID.)
Foo Fighters' rep denied that Hawkins ever raised the issue to Grohl or the band's management team. "No, there was never a 'heart-to-heart' — or any sort of meeting on this topic — with Dave and [Silva Artist Management]," they said. "He never 'informed Dave and [management]' of anything at all like that."
In the article, it is suggested Hawkins' plight was underscored when he lost consciousness on a plane last December. But the group's rep replied it was "not true." Reports at that time indicated an unidentified Foo Fighter was rushed to a Chicago hospital.
Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith, another drummer friend of Hawkins', confirmed it was the Foo Fighters drummer who was hospitalized. "He just said he was exhausted and collapsed, and they had to pump him full of IVs," Smith told Rolling Stone. (UPDATE: Smith has also since said he was misconstrued.)
The cause of Hawkins' death is still unknown after he was found dead in Bogota, Colombia, on March 25, before Foos were to play Festival Estereo Picnic. A preliminary toxicology report suggested he had 10 different substances in his system when he died.