Watch 1000 musicians unite for emotional tribute to Taylor Hawkins

Rockin' 1000 at Stade Francais in Paris
(Image credit: Rockin' 1000 YouTube)

Amongst the many musical tributes paid to late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, it's unlikely any will be as spectacular as that paid by musical collective The Rockin' 1000 at their recent show at the Stade de France in Paris. 

With 1008 band members spread out across the stadium floor, the band's set climaxed with a cover of the Foos' My Hero, dedicated to Hawkins by band founder Fabio Zaffagnini, who originally set up the Rockin' 1000 project to attract the Foo Fighters to play a show in his hometown of Cesena, Italy, in 2014.  

After attracting the required amount of musicians, Zaffagnini made a video of the collective performing another Foo Fighters song, Learn To Fly, in July 2015. Mission accomplished: the success of the video – 60 million YouTube views and counting – led to the band actually playing a show in Cesena that November.

Since then Rockin' 1000 has become a big business, with the That's Live album released in 2017 and a summer camp set up the following year. in 2018 they headlined the Artemio Franchi Stadium in Florence, Italy – joined onstage for three songs by Courtney Love – while 2019 saw the band's debut at Stade de France.

For the most recent Paris show, the band were joined onstage by French rock singer Matthieu Chedid, and played a set that also featured covers of Paradise City by Guns N' Roses, Hells Bells by AC/DC, David Bowie's Space Oddity, Steppenwolf's Born To Be Wild, Killing In The Name by Rage Against the Machine and Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes.

Other onstage tributes to Hawkins, who died in Colombia in March, have come from Red Hot Chili Peppers, who made two TV show appearances with the name 'Taylor' printed on Chad Smith's bass drum, pop star Billie Ellish, who performed at this year's Grammy ceremony while wearing a t-shirt adorned by a picture of Hawkins, and Pearl Jam, whose singer Eddie Vedder spoke about the late drummer on the first night of the band's Gigaton tour at the Viejas Arena in San Diego, California. 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.