Following the unexpected death of Foo Fighters‘ drummer Taylor Hawkins, the music world has been mourning the loss of the kind, talented musician. During a recent appearance on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM show, Machine Gun Kelly recalled his heartwarming last moment with Hawkins.
MGK played on the same bill with the Foo Fighters two nights before Hawkins died at age 50, and had nothing but the highest praise for the beloved drummer, who has three children. “Amazing musician… great voice too. I know we know him from the drums but has an amazing voice too,” he told Stern. “You know, for his kids when they grow up if they ever see this I actually would like to just speak to them about Taylor. I want to share a story about what happened two nights before when we were in Paraguay and a monsoon happened essentially and our shows got canceled.”
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He continued, “It sucked because I actually woke up and we went to soundcheck that day — it’s like an hour drive — and we went super early because that day was the day the Foo Fighters were playing with us on the same stage and I had texted Dave [Grohl] and he was like,’Yes, I’m gonna come watch the show.’ They had never seen the show and Dave and I have had a few interactions, same with Taylor and I, and that was the day, ‘like, ‘Oh my God the Foo Fighters are gonna come watch our show!’”
The “Bloody Valentine” rocker said he and his band went to soundcheck to “sharpen up” to make sure they were on-point for when the Foos came to watch, revealing that they had special speakers built and set up so that the band could hear the show fully. “We were so excited, man, and the rain came and I saw lightning start to happen,” he recalled, bummed that both their set and the Foos set were going to be canceled.
“So I’m texting Dave and we’re super bummed and he’s like, ‘Come over to the hotel, we’re going to shut the rooftop down and we’ll have some drinks.’” So MGK and his band went over to hang and he realized when they got to the hotel lobby that his entourage was “20 deep,” worried that it was too many people and anxious about how the Foos camp will feel about such a big crew.
“And I walked up and we got out of the elevator, all 20 of us, and Taylor, Dave, the whole Foo Fighters team… but specifically Taylor, he went up to every single one of us and gave us each our moment. Like, every single one of us, man, down to… my assistant, they’re relating over, ‘Oh you’re from Topanga? I’m from Topanga!’ It was like, dude, he’s such a beautiful soul man,” MGK added. “We were looking at him go through the bar and he stopped at every single person and gave his heart. I just want to say to his kids, your father when we left there… the kids in us came out. ‘This is the greatest night of our life!’ These legends… and the last thing he had said, and my drummer, we were tripping out over it. And the last thing he said was, ‘I’m just so bummed I didn’t get to see you guys play.’”
“I really want to thank him and let his kids know that he made us feel — in a time where the outside world, outside of the fans, and the outside world was really coming in hard on us — he made us feel so confident in ourselves and loved. Your father is a great, great man and we were all lucky to know him and we all appreciate that night more than anyone will know. That was a dream for us,” he concluded with an emotional hitch in voice as he recounted his own magical rock star moment.
Hawkins’ death was announced via a social media statement from the band’s accounts on Friday (Mar. 25), with no cause of death immediately given.
The Foo Fighters were scheduled to perform Friday night in Bogotá, Colombia, as part of Festival Estéreo Picnic. According to local news reports, the drummer was found dead in his Bogotá hotel room.
By Saturday evening, although Hawkins’ cause of death had still not been confirmed, the Attorney General’s Office of Colombia reported that a urine toxicology test had found traces of 10 types of substances in his system, including THC (marijuana), tricyclic antidepressants, benzodiazepines and opioids. The office noted that the National Institute of Forensic Medicine will continue its medical inquiry to reach “total clarification of the events that led to the death of Taylor Hawkins.”