During his cruelly stunted tenure as Foo Fighters’ drummer, Taylor Hawkins brought a thunderous presence and a unique style to his unquestionable virtuosity. Hawkins was brought on board in 1997, and beyond his drumming abilities, the ever-discerning Dave Grohl could sense Hawkins’ unbound passion for rock and roll.
Very few things in this world can bond a pair of gents quite so irrevocably as a shared taste in music. Beyond Beatles and Queen small talk, the former Nirvana drummer and Hawkins, who had cut his teeth on tour with Alanis Morissette before joining the Foos, discovered a bond over hard rock and post-punk groups of the 1980s.
“When he joined the band, his drumming was the least important factor,” Grohl told NME of his friendship with Hawkins in February 2021. “I just thought, ‘I want to travel the world with this guy; I want to jump on stage and drink beers with this person.’ That was my biggest concern.”
Speaking to Melody Maker in December 2000, Hawkins was asked to name the greatest gig he’d ever been to. Picking out Jane’s Addiction at the Wiltern Theatre, Los Angeles, in 1988, Hawkins remembered: “Oh, man, besides Nirvana, they were one of the last special, magical bands. There was something about Jane’s Addiction that was bigger than the four people in the band. I was from down south in Laguna, which is basically like being from Cornwall as opposed to London, if you know what I mean, and me and my friends hitched all the way up to LA to watch them.”
“Jane’s Addiction at the time were basically just freaks – nobody had dreadlocks, nobody had nose rings back in ’87,” the drummer continued. “Perry Farrell was just a provocative and insane lead singer. He was just fucking crazy, and they were this amazing band. They were like this heavy metal band from the valleys who got really into Siouxsie And The Banshees. You had your little faggy-goth vibe and your muscular heavy metal vibe, combined with the energy of punk bands like Black Flag. That was my best gig ever, definitely.”
It perhaps goes without saying, but if Grohl and Hawkins had been friends back in 1988, they would have made that journey to LA together.
In 2017, Jane’s Addiction received their first Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nomination. Speaking to Eddie Trunk around the time, Farrell revealed that Grohl, who has now been inducted into the Rock Hall twice, helped them get their first nomination.
“Just recently, Dave Grohl had a fundraiser for his children’s school, and he invited me to participate,” Farrell said. “When I was there, he took me in the corner and said, ‘Hey, man, I just want to let you know something. I’ve been working with the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame – and I got you on the ballot. I hope it all goes well.’”
“And that’s when I heard about it and really got excited,” he added. “So it was a great weekend.”
Watch Perry Farrell join Foo Fighters on stage to sing Jane’s Addiction’s ‘Been Caught Stealing’ live at Lollapalooza Chile in March 2022. The performance took place just seven days before Hawkins’ death.