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Taylor Hawkins was struggling with Foo Fighters’ intense touring schedule before his death, friends claim

Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters
(Image credit: Ashley Beliveau/Getty Images)

Prior to his death, late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins apparently expressed concerns over the intensity of the band's touring schedule, following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

The claims were made by friends of the drummer and reported by Rolling Stone. Friends allege that Hawkins was struggling to keep up with the physical demands of the tour, which comprised of three-hour concerts each night.

According to the report, prior to Foo Fighters’ return following the pandemic, “Hawkins felt hesitant about returning to the road and wasn’t sure he’d be able to remain a full-time member if they continued to tour at this pace”.

Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron, a close friend of Hawkins’ for numerous years, claimed to Rolling Stone that, “He had a heart-to-heart with Dave [Grohl] and, yeah, he told me that he ‘couldn’t fucking do it anymore’ – those were his words.

“So I guess they did come to some understanding, but it just seems like the touring schedule got even crazier after that.” 

A representative for Foo Fighters rejected Cameron's claim, saying: “No, there was never a ‘heart-to-heart’ – or any sort of meeting on this topic – with Dave and [Silva Artist Management].”

Sass Jordan, Hawkins’ longtime friend and former boss, told Rolling Stone: “Honestly, I think he was just so tired. Tired of the whole game".

While an anonymous colleague and friend of Hawkins added: “The fact that he finally spoke to Dave and really told him that he couldn’t do this and that he wouldn’t do it anymore, that was freeing for him. That took fucking balls. That did take a year of working up the guts to do.”

In spite of Hawkins' friends allegations, a representative for Foo Fighters is insistent that the drummer never pushed forward these views: “He never ‘informed Dave and [management]’ of anything at all like that.”

Rolling Stone states that they asked Hawkins’ family members and bandmates for interviews to support the claims, but no one wished to corroborate. 

Additionally, numerous friends of Hawkins reported that he lost consciousness on board a plane in Chicago, which led to the band cancelling their planned gig at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi on December 12 due to “unforeseen medical circumstances”.

Describing the incident, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith says: “He just said he was exhausted and collapsed, and they had to pump him full of IVs and stuff. He was dehydrated and all kinds of stuff.”

Following the event, Smith claims that Hawkins told him: “I can’t do it like this anymore.”

Hawkins, 50, was found dead in his Bogotá hotel room on March 25 ahead of a show that evening. That same month, an initial toxicology report found multiple drugs in his system at the time of his death, including opiates, antidepressants and marijuana.

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music. '10 bands that rip off Black Sabbath but get away with it' is her favourite article she's written with Louder so far. When not writing, Liz enjoys various creative endeavours such as graphic design, as well as reading about rock’n’roll history, art and magic.