Skip to main content

Home Music Music News

Brian May on Taylor Hawkins’ death: “Our world is a very sad place without him”

He loved us and we loved him. He was like family," said May of the late drummer

By Nick Reilly

Taylor Hawkins & Brian May perform live
Brian May has paid tribute to the late, great Taylor Hawkins (Picture: Alamy)

Brian May has opened up on his close friendship with the late Taylor Hawkins, after the Foo Fighters drummer’s untimely death last month.

Hawkins was found dead on March 25 in a hotel room in Bogotá, Colombia, where Foo Fighters were set to play a gig that night as part of a South American tour.

The late drummer’s friendship with May dated back to the late 1990s, when he provided drums on ‘Cyborg’ – a track taken from the Queen guitarist’s second solo album ‘Another World’.

They went on to form a close bond over Hawkins’ huge love of Queen, with the pair often sharing the stage at each other’s shows.

Speaking to Rolling Stone UK yesterday (April 11), May admitted he was still struggling to come to terms with Hawkins’ sudden passing.

“It was a horrible, horrible shock and I haven’t processed it up to now,” he said.

“I don’t think I can talk about him in the past tense. He was just so incredibly alive and real. It was a terrible blow. He loved us and we loved him. He was like family and our world is a very sad place without him.”

May went onto recall the last phone call he shared with Hawkins, just a week before his untimely passing.

Taylor Hawkins playing drums at a Foo Fighters show
Taylor Hawkins performing with Foo Fighters at Lollapalooza Berlin. (Photo: Wiki Commons)

“It was only a week before he went. I phoned him up to talk about what it’s like to have guests on stage when you’re performing,” May said.

“He’d had a similar experience to me and I was asking how he felt about having extra guests on stage and we had a whole conversation about it,” he said.

“He had a great sense of humour and he’d say that ‘[Foo Fighters] is the Dave show and I just do my bit’.

“But he loved to do his bit and he liked welcoming others too. He was even more generous than people understood too.”

Hailing Taylor’s role in Foo Fighters, he added: “Taylor was in a difficult position too, because a lot of people would have found it very tough to play drums for one of the best drummers in the world. But Taylor he knew he had the talent as well.”

Foo Fighters have cancelled all tour dates in the wake of Hawkins’ death, while the band was hailed during a triumphant night at the Grammys earlier this month.

They won Best Rock Performance for ‘Making a Fire’, Best Rock Song for ‘Waiting on a War’ and Best Rock Album for ‘Medicine at Midnight’. The wins reportedly make them the most-awarded American band in Grammy history.

There was a brief montage to celebrate Hawkins, while Billie Eilish also wore a t-shirt printed with his face to perform ‘Happier Than Ever’.