A new Rolling Stone article claims to shed light on the final months of late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins’ life.
Hawkins had complained to confidantes about being tired and not being able to tour a full schedule anymore, according to the report, which draws on the testimony of multiple sources more than a month after the musician's death.
Foo Fighters and their representatives declined to be interviewed for the piece, but told the publication the “characterisations of how [Hawkins] was feeling” in the days leading up to his death were incorrect.
Some of the sources also cast doubt on the toxicology report released in the wake of Hawkins’ death, which confirmed there were 10 different substances in his body, including marijuana, opioids and antidepressants.
So what does the article say, and which parts have been disputed?
Here is everything you need to know about it.
What does the Rolling Stone article say?
Hawkins was apprehensive to return to the road for Foo Fighters' big post-pandemic comeback tour, according to sources, and was concerned about his capacity to remain a full-time member of the band, who would regulary perform three-hour shows.
Vocalist Sass Jordan - a friend of Hawkins - told Rolling Stone the drummer was “was just so tired. Tired of the whole game.”
Hawkins had communicated with Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl about his feelings, according to Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron.
”He had a heart-to-heart with Dave and, yeah, he told me that he ‘couldn’t f***ing do it anymore' - those were his words,” Cameron said.
“So I guess they did come to some understanding, but it just seems like the touring schedule got even crazier after that.”
Hawkins was reportedly “relieved” after telling Grohl he wanted to take a break, according to another friend who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
More friends still said Hawkins remained on the road out of a commitment to his bandmates, and those who made a career working with the group.
One of Hawkins' colleagues and friends said that having that conversation with Grohl “took f***ing balls,” adding, that it took “a year of working up the guts to do.”
But according to a band representative, Hawkins never brought up the subject with managers or Grohl, and there was never a "heart-to-heart" discussion.
Hawkins was reportedly under pressure to appear in more shows, despite saying he was only going to take part in “a couple” more.
Hawkins called the anonymous source to protest after learning about a show in Australia that the band added to its calendar, and despite Hawkins' expectation that the touring schedule would be lighter heading forward, the band played over 40 shows in 2021, and had scheduled around 60 more for this year.
According to a number of friends - inclduing Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith - Hawkins passed out on a plane in Chicago in December 2021.
“He was dehydrated and all kinds of stuff... just exhausted and collapsed,” Smith said, “and they had to pump him full of IVs and stuff.”
Is the article accurate?
As previously mentioned, Foo Fighters and their representatives declined to be interviewed for the piece, but told Rolling Stone the "characterisations of how [Hawkins] was feeling" in the days leading up to his death were wrong.
According to a band representative, Hawkins was never furious about the show in Australia or the band’s itinerary, which “had been established and in place for well over a year.”
The representative added that the stories about the plane incident are “not true.”
Matt Cameron responded to the piece on Instagram, saying he had mistakenly assumed the article would be a be “a celebration” of Hawkins’ “life and work.”
”My quotes were taken out of context and shaped into a narrative I had never intended,” he said.
“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 the deepest respect and admiration.”
What about the toxicology report?
Two of Hawkins' friends have expressed their doubts about the toxicology report, which stated the drummer had 10 different substances in his body at the time of his death, and that a cocaine-like powder was discovered in his hotel room.
“Taylor never played f***ed up in his life,” said Chad Ward, Hawkins’ drum tech between 2005 and 2019. “He always played sober as can be. That was a show day.
“So for somebody to say that he was doing drugs that day, that is just about the most false thing anybody could ever say about him.”
Hawkins had told Rolling Stone in June 2021 that he was dealing with stage fright anxiety and 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.”
The full Rolling Stone article can be read here.