Earlier this week, Rolling Stone magazine published an article titled “Inside Taylor Hawkins’ Final Days as a Foo Fighter”, detailing the weeks leading up to the shocking death of the drummer who was found dead in his hotel room on March 25 before Foo Fighters played. a show in Bogota, Colombia.
The lengthy post cited a number of sources close to Hawkins who claimed he had serious reservations about the number of live performances the band were doing following the recent Covid-19 pandemic, and that at 50, he was tired of grinding. Many of those cited have not been named at their request, but others have been recorded, including two other well-known rock drummers.
Matt Cameron, who sits behind Pearl Jam’s kit and played with Soundgarden until singer Chris Cornell died in 2017, told Rolling Stone that Hawkins told him he “couldn’t [expletive] do it more – those are his words,” and said the drummer had a heart-to-heart with Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl about it.
Like the majority of the article’s claims, Foo Fighters representatives said nothing like this had ever happened, and Hawkins never raised any objections to the band’s touring schedule.
Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith was also quoted in Rolling Stone as saying Hawkins had a frightening incident on a plane flight to Chicago in December, which further exacerbated his need to reduce his activities.
“He just said he was exhausted and collapsed, and they had to pump him with IVs and stuff,” Smith said. “He was dehydrated and all sorts of things.”
Naturally, the article caused quite a bit of controversy, both due to revelations that Hawkins wanted to call him back and was pushed back, as well as the band’s spokespersons denying almost everything he had. said. Hours after the story was published, Cameron and Smith took to their respective social media platforms to suggest they had been misled as to the true nature of what Rolling Stone was seeking to accomplish.
“When I agreed to be featured in a Rolling Stone feature on Taylor, I assumed it would be a celebration of her life and work,” Cameron posted on Instagram. “My quotes have been taken out of context and twisted into a narrative I never intended. Taylor was a dear friend and next level artist. I have the deepest love and respect for Taylor, Dave and the families Foo Fighters I sincerely apologize for participating in this interview, and I apologize that my participation may cause harm to those for whom I have nothing but the deepest respect and admiration.
“Taylor was one of my best friends and I would do anything for her family,” Smith echoed on her own Instagram. “Rolling Stone asked me to share some memories of our time together and I thought it would be the tribute it deserved. Instead, the story they wrote was sensational and misleading, and if I had known, I would never have agreed to participate.
“I apologize to his family and fellow musicians for any pain this may have caused,” he added. “I miss Taylor everyday.”
To date, no official cause of Hawkins’ death has been revealed, although a preliminary report from Bogota says 10 substances were found in his system, including marijuana, opioids, antidepressants and benzodiazepines. . He also said the drummer had an enlarged heart up to twice its normal size.
Neither Grohl nor any of the other Foo Fighters have yet spoken publicly about Hawkins’ death other than an official statement following his passing. All of the band’s concert dates for the foreseeable future have been cancelled.
VINYL OF THE WEEK
Keep an eye on this place as each week we’ll be reviewing new or upcoming vinyl from a variety of artists. It can be a reprint of a historical recording, a special edition or a new collection of a legendary act. This week, it’s a reissue campaign for a unique pop rock outfit that is experiencing a resurgence in popularity.
SPARKS: “SPARKS OF THE 21ST CENTURY”
There’s never been a better time to be a Sparks fan, as levels of interest in Ron and Russell Mael’s work are at a level not seen since their breakthrough in the 1970s. to last year’s acclaimed documentary film about the Southern California duo, “The Sparks Brothers.”
Most casual fans know how Sparks’ career has gone through many phases, including art rock, glam, big band swing, electro-disco, new wave and synthpop, collaborating with Todd Rundgren, Tony Visconti, Giorgio Moroder and Franz Ferdinand. along the way. Their popularity has grown unpredictably in different territories at different times in places like Britain, France, Germany, Scandinavia, Japan, and here in the United States.
The Sparks are celebrating their post-millennium renaissance with the ’21st Century Sparks’ collection of five deluxe reissues of, well, their new millennium output. Already released at the end of April, ‘Balls’ (2000), ‘Lil’ Beethoven’ (2002) and ‘Hello Young Lovers’ (2006). Next Friday will see the rest in ‘Exotic Creatures of the Deep’ (2008) and ‘The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman’ (2009).
All versions – a number of which have been out of print for years and highly sought after by Sparks collectors – have been specially remastered for the collection, featuring an array of bonus content, most of which was previously unreleased. The two most recent releases – “Hippopotamus” (2017) and “A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip” (2020) – complete the collection on 21st century hardware and are both available now.
If there is a gap in the knowledge of newcomers or even long-time fans of the Sparks, it may be from the crucial 2000s period between the “Crackerjack Years” of their first bursts of glory. and their current success, when the duo reunited with their muse. and released some of their best albums. In a way, it also served to chart the course for an extraordinary rebirth for the Mael brothers. Now in their sixth decade of music making, Sparks have never been more relevant. The “21st Century Sparks” collection shows exactly how they got here.
’21st Century Sparks’ can be found online and in the stores of all respectable retailers that sell vinyl.