Taylor Hawkins Shared Discomfort About Foo Fighters' Tour Schedule Before His Death: Report

According to a new 'Rolling Stone' feature, the drummer reportedly told multiple friends he "couldn't fucking do it anymore"

Photo: Raph_PH

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished May 17, 2022

Just shy of two months on from the death of Taylor Hawkins, new reporting from Rolling Stone outlines the artist's final days on tour with Foo Fighters, with friends and peers recalling how he expressed discomfort with the band's demanding tour schedule prior to his passing.

Among the 20 people interviewed by Rolling Stone since the drummer's sudden passing in March — including Pearl Jam's Matt Cameron and Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith — several claimed Hawkins had spoken with Dave Grohl about Foo Fighters' touring commitments leading up to his death.

"He had a heart-to-heart with Dave and, yeah, he told me that he 'couldn't fucking do it anymore' — those were his words," Cameron told Rolling Stone. "So I guess they did come to some understanding, but it just seems like the touring schedule got even crazier after that."

A rep for Foo Fighters denied that Hawkins ever raised these issues, telling Rolling Stone, "No, there was never a 'heart-to-heart' — or any sort of meeting on this topic — with Dave and [Silva Artist Management]."

UPDATE (5/17, 6:00 p.m. ET): A day after Rolling Stone's report was published, Cameron now claims that his comments were "taken out of context," writing on Instagram, "When I agreed to take part in the Rolling Stone article about Taylor, I assumed it would be a celebration of his life and work. My quotes were taken out of context and shaped into a narrative I never intended. Taylor was a dear friend, and a next level artist ... I am truly sorry to have taken part in this interview and I apologize that my participation may have caused harm to those for whom I have only the deepest respect and admiration."

UPDATE (5/18, 12:00 p.m. ET): Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith has also spoken out against the story and apologized to Foo Fighters.

Rolling Stone's story also points to a December 2021 report that a member of Foo Fighters, which multiple friends claim to be Hawkins, was taken to hospital after losing consciousness onboard a plane in Chicago. "He just said he was exhausted and collapsed, and they had to pump him full of IVs and stuff," Smith told the publication. "He was dehydrated and all kinds of stuff." Smith claimed that after the incident, Hawkins told him, "I can't do it like this anymore."

"That was one of the straws that broke the camel's back," Smith added of the plane incident. "After that, he had a real important heart-to-heart with Dave and the management. He said, 'I can't continue on this schedule, and so we've got to figure out something.'" Asked by Rolling Stone if Foo Fighters had comment on claims that the drummer had lost consciousness on the plane, a rep told the publication, "This is not true."

Rolling Stone's report can be read in full here. Speaking with the outlet in June 2021 ahead of playing his first concert since the pandemic began, Hawkins shared, "I'm really nervous about tonight ... I have major stage fright — major, major, major. Like, today is, like, I'm in hell right now." He also expressed that he was "trying really hard to figure out how to continue to keep the intensity of a young man in a 50-year-old's body, which is very difficult."

Hawkins died in March while on tour with Foo Fighters in Bogotá, Colombia. He was 50. A preliminary toxicology report released by Colombia's Attorney General's Office claimed that Hawkins had 10 substances in his system when he died. Upon the drummer's passing, Foo Fighters cancelled all scheduled tour dates.

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