Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins was at 50 before his death in March at the age of 50, several friends told Rolling Stone in a new investigative article published Monday.
Rock Bible reporters said they interviewed 20 of Hawkins’ friends in the month and a half since his death.
His family members and Foo Fighters bandmates declined an interview, but the band’s management said, “They dispute the characterizations made by Hawkins’ friends about how he felt.”
However, according to friends, Hawkins was worried about the band’s strict touring schedule and didn’t know if he would physically be able to play three-hour shows night after night. They claim he was wondering if he could continue as a full-time member of the band.
“He had a heart-to-heart talk with Dave and, yeah, he told me he couldn’t do it anymore — those were his words,” said Pearl Jam drummer and side project collaborator Matt Cameron. “I guess they settled, but it seems like the touring schedule got even crazier after that.”
A Foo Fighters representative denied that Hawkins raised those concerns, telling Rolling Stone: “No, there was never a ‘heart to heart’ – or any kind of meeting on the subject – with Dave and [Silva Artist Management].
Cameron also told the outlet that Hawkins agreed to continue touring with the band to “be a team player.”
“[A band like that] is a big machine [with] a lot of people on the payroll,” Cameron said. “So you really have to be aware of the business side of something when it’s that big and that has an inherent pressure, just like any business.”
The band’s rep again denied that Hawkins had ever mentioned that he wanted to downsize.
“He never informed Dave and [management]’ of anything like that.
The rep also denied reports that Hawkins was the band member who passed out on a plane in December. Meanwhile, Hawkins’ friend Chad Smith, drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, told Rolling Stone that the incident actually happened.
“That was one of the straws that broke the camel’s back,” Smith said. “After that, he had a really important heart-to-heart talk with Dave and management. He said: “I can’t go ahead with this schedule, so we’ll have to come up with something.” ”
The results of Hawkins’ autopsy were not released, but a urinalysis report found marijuana, antidepressants, benzodiazepines and opioids in his system, Rolling Stone reported.
“Taylor has never played properly in his life,” Chad “Yeti” Ward, Hawkins’ drum technician from 2005 to 2019, told Rolling Stone. “He has always played as sober as possible. That was a show day. So if someone says they did drugs that day, that’s about the worst thing you can ever say about them.”
Doctors said his heart weighed twice a normal one, weighing 600 grams and could have collapsed from the enlargement alone.