Tragic Details About Taylor Hawkins

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The following article includes mentions of excessive drug use.

Taylor Hawkins rose to fame as the drummer for one of America's most legendary rock bands. He began his lengthy career touring with Sass Jordan and Alanis Morissette before finding family in the Foo Fighters. He played with the band for 25 years up until his tragic death in March 2022, and through the decades, Hawkins developed a strong bond with Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl. The two were more than bandmates — they were like brothers.

Grohl detailed his close friendship with Hawkins in his book "The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music," which was released in 2021. "Tearing through the room like an F5 tornado of hyperactive joy was Taylor Hawkins, my brother from another mother, my best friend, a man for whom I would take a bullet," Grohl wrote (via Yahoo! News). "... I am not afraid to say that our chance meeting was kind of love at first sight, igniting a musical 'twin flame' that still burns to this day."

Along with his bandmates, Hawkins is survived by his wife, Alison, and their three kids, Oliver, Annabelle, and Everleigh. Despite his close relationships with his loved ones, the beloved late drummer faced many hardships throughout his eventful career. These tragic details about Taylor Hawkins serve as a reminder of the struggles musicians sometimes face.

He had a complicated relationship with his parents

Taylor Hawkins had a close relationship with his parents, but like most families, things weren't perfect. The Texas native, who grew up in Laguna, California, opened up about his late mother, Elizabeth Ann Hawkins, in a 2021 interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, saying, "My mum ... had her demons and a dark side. She was full of love, sweetness, and tenderness and the total opposite of my dad." But Taylor also recalled some of the good memories he shared with his mother, so it seems his childhood wasn't all bad: "I would stand in front of her as a kid and sing, impersonate or dance for her. When I first got drums, she was the one who would watch me play. She was a big supporter and told me I'd make it."

As for the late drummer's father, Terry Hawkins, it seems he was similar to Elizabeth in that they both had their faults. In the interview, Taylor mentioned that his mother "counteracted Dad's stony coldness." Terry also worked as a businessman, so it is possible that the father of three was not always able to spend quality time with Taylor and his siblings. The Foo Fighters drummer tragically lost his father in 2011, and his mother died only nine months later.

The musician spoke about the ups and downs of his parents' relationship, telling The Sydney Morning Herald, "They were like best friends; they lived a full life. But there was tragedy, too."

Taylor Hawkins 'failed at everything' as a kid

Life was tough for Taylor Hawkins before he discovered his passion for drumming. The musician spoke about finding himself through music in a 2000 interview with The Washington Post. "I was a fat, chubby, stupid kid who [failed] at everything and that nobody liked," he said. "Then I started playing drums." The late musician's parents likely had no clue they were changing their son's life forever when they gifted him the drum kit.

As Hawkins told The Sydney Morning Herald, his mother was the parent who watched as he mastered the drums when he got his first set, as previously mentioned. Although the drummer always had his mother's support, it seems she wasn't always present due to her own internal struggles. "Mum was a little absent sometimes because of her demons and my older sister Heather took up a lot of that slack," Hawkins said, per The Sydney Morning Herald. "When dinner didn't get finished because Mum had passed out on the couch, [my sister] Heather was the one who made sure everything ran smoothly." 

Luckily, the star didn't let his troubled upbringing prevent him from following his dreams.

The Foo Fighters drummer survived a drug overdose

Taylor Hawkins survived a terrifying experience in 2001 when a heroin overdose put him into a coma. He opened up about the experience years later in an interview with Beats 1. "I was partying a lot," he admitted (via Ultimate Classic Rock). "I wasn't like a junkie per se, but I was partying. I was the dumb kid that was just taking it too far. If you put a line of something in front of me, I was like, 'Yeah, I'll do that.'" 

Luckily, the drummer was able to recover. It seems that the potentially deadly experience motivated the star to seek help in order to overcome his excessive drug use. "I have my system that works for me," Hawkins continued, describing the scary experience as "a real changing point."

The star spoke on his 2001 overdose again in a 2021 interview for Kerrang!. "I mistakenly did something and it changed everything," he said in reference to the tragic incident, which took place in London (via The U.S. Sun). "I believed the bulls**t myth of live hard and fast, die young." Hawkins candidly continued on, further reflecting on his past, "I'm glad it got knocked on the head at that point. I wouldn't take anything away that I've done or been through either, because it's all part of the trip and the journey."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

He almost left the band after a fight with Dave Grohl

Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins were close friends over the years, as previously mentioned, with the Foo Fighters frontman even often referring to Hawkins as his "brother" — so it is hard to imagine the pair ever disliked each other. But it turns out the two bandmates once got into a heated argument during Coachella in the early 2000s that almost ended in Hawkins leaving the group. 

In a 2021 interview with Rolling Stone, Hawkins broke down the events that led up to his temporary departure from the Foo Fighters, sharing: "I was being a f***ing smart-a** and know-it-all, thinking I know what was right. And he just f***ing said, 'You know what? I'm going to tell you right now. This is how it is. It's my f***ing band. If you don't like it, f***ing beat it.' And I went, 'All right, I quit.'"

Luckily for Foo Fighters fans, this was not the end of Hawkins' stint with the band. The bandmates were able to mend things right before their performance at the music event, which went incredibly well, according to Hawkins. "We f***ing killed it," he said in reference to the show, per Rolling Stone. The late drummer went on to explain he had a heart-to-heart conversation with Grohl about the band's future afterward, and they went on to headline at the Reading Festival for the first time.

10 substances were in his body at the time of his death

In March 2022, Taylor Hawkins was found dead in his hotel room in Bogota, Colombia. The drummer was on tour with the Foo Fighters at the time, still traveling the world and putting on incredible performances at the age of 50. The band took to Twitter to announce the tragedy, sharing a heart-wrenching message that read in part: "The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved Taylor Hawkins. His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live on with all of us forever."

As of this writing, a cause of death had not yet been released. However, a toxicology report revealed that 10 substances were found in Hawkins' body. According to CNN Entertainment, Colombia's Attorney General's Office shared: "The National Institute of Forensic Medicine continues the medical studies to achieve total clarification of the events that led to the death of Taylor Hawkins and the attorney general's office will continue to investigate his cause of death in a 'timely manner.'" The report also revealed that THC, antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and opioids were among the substances found in Hawkins' system after his death, per CNN Entertainment.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Substances were also found in Taylor Hawkins' hotel room

A revelation in the investigation of Taylor Hawkins' death has suggested drug use may have been an ongoing problem in the musician's life, per the Mirror, despite his progress in recovery following his 2001 overdose. According to the New York Post, journalist Luis Carlos Velez relayed the information from Colombia's national attorney general's office in a since-deleted tweet, noting that authorities had reportedly found "at least 10 different substances" in Hawkins' hotel room, including antidepressants, heroin, marijuana, and opioids.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail alleged that an autopsy revealed Hawkins' heart had doubled in size. The outlet also reported that cardiovascular collapse was a factor in his death. Prior to his death, Hawkins reportedly suffered chest pain so bad an ambulance had to be called. As previously stated, there has been no confirmation of an official cause of death, at the time of this writing. Still, these revelations appear grim given Hawkins' history with drug use.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Dave Grohl was left in tears following Taylor Hawkins' death

It seems Dave Grohl was understandably hit hard by Taylor Hawkins' death. In late March 2022, he was photographed in tears at a Los Angeles airport, where he made his return to the U.S. after leaving Colombia following Hawkins' passing. The photos showed how the Foo Fighters as a whole were visibly upset while Grohl hugged a man believed to be the group's manager. 

Of course, the star's saddened reaction is expected given his longtime closeness to Hawkins. The bandmates developed a strong bond throughout their years-long friendship, as previously mentioned. Grohl even once told radio station 95.5 KLOS that he and Hawkins hit it off from the start. "I was like, 'Wow, you're either my twin or my spirit animal, or my best friend!' In the first 10 seconds of meeting him. And, of course, I'd seen him play the drums, and I thought he was an amazing drummer," he said of their first interaction in 1995 (via Us Weekly).

At the time, the former Nirvana drummer was founding a new band called the Foo Fighters, and Hawkins was playing drums during Alanis Morissette's tour in support of "Jagged Little Pill." Fast forward two years, and a spot eventually opened up for Hawkins to replace the group's former drummer as work on their "The Colour and the Shape" debut album wrapped up. The bandmates, of course, meshed well together musically and personally, and they continued to work alongside each other for 25 years, right up until the day of Hawkins' death, per Us Weekly.