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Paul McCartney pays tribute to ‘True Rock & Roll Hero’ Taylor Hawkins

The former Beatle reflected on being asked to play drums on a Foo Fighters song and inducting the band into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

By Jon Blistein

Taylor Hawkins, with Paul McCartney behind him, at the 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Taylor Hawkins, with Paul McCartney behind him, at the 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony (Picture: David Richard/AP Photo)

Paul McCartney honoured Taylor Hawkins as “a true Rock & Roll hero” and looked back fondly on his collaborations with the Foo Fighters in a tribute to the late drummer shared Wednesday, March 30.

“Taylor’s sudden death came as a shock to me and the people who knew and loved him,” McCartney wrote on Instagram. “Not only was he a GREAT drummer but his personality was big and shiny and will be sorely missed by all who were lucky to live and work alongside him.⁣”

McCartney went to recall the time the Foo Fighters reached out to him to play on one of their tracks, and it turned out they were seeking his assistance on — of all instruments — the drums. The tune was “Sunday Rain” from 2017’s Concrete and Gold, which McCartney noted was one of Hawkins’ songs to boot.

“This request came from a group with TWO amazing drummers!” McCartney exclaimed. “It was an incredible session and cemented my relationship with Taylor and the guys.”

A few years later, McCartney would link up with the Foo Fighters again when the band asked him to induct them into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2021. “I sang with them on ‘Get Back,’” McCartney recalled. “Taylor provided a powerhouse drum part. I’ll never forget that night. All of which made it much more of a desperately sad shock to hear he had died. So thanks Taylor for sharing some glorious minutes with me. You were a true Rock & Roll hero and will always remain in my heart.⁣”

Hawkins died suddenly last Friday, March 25, as the Foo Fighters were preparing for a festival show in Colombia. An exact cause of death has yet to be announced, but the Attorney General of Colombia said at least 10 substances were found in Hawkins, including antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and opioids.

McCartney is the latest in a long line of artists who have shared tributes to Hawkins, including Tom Morello, Elton John, Lars Ulrich, Miley Cyrus, Slash, and McCartney’s Beatles bandmate Ringo Starr.