Taylor Hawkins…

“I don’t say goodbye. I don’t like to say goodbye. Because I know that we’ll always come back. So if you come back, we’ll come back.”

That was a quote from Dave Grohl on March 20, 2022 in Argentina, before the Foo Fighters’ performance of ‘Everlong’- unknowingly the final song to be performed with Taylor Hawkins.

Admittedly, i don’t know a lot of music from the Foo Fighters. There are only a few songs from the band, as well as projects like Dave Grohl’s Play (which is quite good), that i’m familiar with.

That said, the passing of Oliver Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters’ drummer) is fairly layered for me. As a drummer (albeit not as good as Hawkins), it made me sad. A fellow drummer has left this earth. As someone who is 4.5 years to 50 (the age he left), it made me sad. As someone who lost a best friend (i lost (my rock) Barry in 2011. He was in his early 40s), i feel so much sadness for Dave Grohl.

Taylor Hawkins was the Lars to Dave Grohl’s James.

The funny thing about all of this is, i was watching a series of interviews of the Foo Fighters out of the blue right before Hawkins’ passing.

As a person who almost DID die after getting hit by a semi truck, i don’t believe in the saying, ‘tell everyone you love them because you never know when the end comes.’ Interestingly, when you are at your most vulnerable, i learned that’s when people actually drop out.

At the final show five days before Hawkins’ passing (in Argentina), the love between he and Grohl was the kind that people who struggle together share. Those compliments they gave to one another (which you can also see at other shows) was sincere, and actually proves my above point. Though they did, they didn’t have to SAY they loved each other, because you saw and felt the energy.

The people who truly love you will show up in ways beyond words.

What i think holds truer (especially having experienced almost dying) is living your life to create positive change in making the world a better place, and doing what you love as much as you can, because you CAN go at any time. Hopefully both of those things are combined.

i can say for sure that Taylor Hawkins did at least one of those things.

Again, i am not as good of a drummer (and i did a couple mess-ups), but i hope i did him some justice.

i know that ‘Alone + Easy Target’ was on the band’s first album (and Grohl played most of the instruments on that album), but it’s one of the few songs of theirs i know, and Hawkins did end up playing it in live performances.

i like ‘But, Honestly’ because (to me) it discusses the freedom of letting go. And given the context of the loss of life, the work on letting go is quite important.

i’m going to say that ‘I Should have Known’ is perhaps my favorite Foo Fighters song (at least from the ones i’ve heard). From a musical standpoint it’s got echoes of Bowie (with a pinch of the Kinks). In terms of subject matter, it’s heartbreaking to listen to.

It actually reminds me a lot of ‘The Outlaw Torn’.

Emotionally, it was not an easy song to play to.

Though i have no fear of death, and though i accept the inevitability of it; 11 years later i still have yet to come to terms with Barry not being here. As a person who almost died (and who has made attempts to end my life several times), i understand both perspectives- the despair of the person who leaves, and the confusion and anger of the person who is left behind.

Not everyone who leaves this earth shows signs.

i hold no anger towards the man who hit me, but i also wander in an inexplicable space when i see no leg there. We cannot remove the past, but for a fraction of a second i occasionally wonder what i would be doing now if i still had two legs. i don’t feel guilt, but it’s a particular type of feeling that feels like it sometimes.

i hold no anger towards him, but i can’t say that i forgive him either.

i also know that the death of a leg has given me an opportunity to rekindle my love for playing music. For that, i am grateful.

i cannot imagine what the band is experiencing right now, given they were in the middle of a tour. It is possible they could cancel (note: i just found out they did cancel all dates), and it is possible they could finish doing the series of shows, like the Rolling Stones did after Charlie Watts’ passing (note: they’re not).

My heart is with everyone who has ever been a fan or appreciator of the band; and any friends, family and loved ones of Taylor Hawkins.

This post is for you all.

“I don’t say goodbye. I don’t like to say goodbye. Because I know that we’ll always come back.”

See you again, Mr. Hawkins.

i Do What i Can Do, So i Do It

i continue to try an seek out other amputee drummers, and so far, i’m so amazed at all of the things i see. i am literally a baby in this experience (well, technically a toddler), and i have a ways to go before i can get to the level of a Caleb Graves, Jack Thomas, Jason Barnes and most famously, Rick Allen. It’s mostly dudes i have seen highlighted in the community- no surprise there.

i’m here representing those of us who are less known or acknowledged- or not known at all (raises hand here).

i thought about all of this because figuring out different things amid the limitations has been interesting. For instance, in a traditional set people who use double kick obviously use the left foot. i have never used my left leg for the kick before, so i was surprised at how fast i adapted. There are other things i have to sort out while playing, such as playing a particular pattern in place of the alternate open/closed high hat- such as the following song.

‘Is It My Body’ is probably my favorite Alice Cooper song. Frank Zappa found them interesting (and strange) enough to put them on. Their first few albums (of which Love It To Death (where the above song is on) is among them) were more straight ahead rock, as opposed to the metal of the proceeding years. Neal Smith seemed to be a pretty big fan of the open high hat.

But alas, i did what i could do.

Soooooooooo… i finally got a keyboard again, after years of not having one. i used to play piano all the time (and even wrote whole songs), but i was never proficient at it. i kind of forgot how to play; i hope it’s like what they say about bicycles- when you know how to do it you don’t forget.

i hope that’s true though, because i intend to ride again.

i can still play some notes, but the technique is TERRIBLE. i wouldn’t even call it a technique. i have never seen anyone play this bad- HA! But i wanted to show it anyway. Because you have to start from somewhere.

Go ahead. Make fun of me. i know i look like a little kid playing on a small Casio.

It’s okay though. i have Touré the octopus by my side.

‘Every Little Step’ at a time counts.

Speaking of… i got a request to play to some ’90s R&B. i did play to the one SWV song a few posts ago, but i couldn’t think about what else to do. Then i thought about the severely underrated Bobby album, by of course, Bobby Brown. My favorite BB song is the one i played above on piano), but Bobby is a much more mature work.

‘Get Away’ is the jam, but of course i had to punk it up (shoutout to Infectious Grooves). And of course, Lars was (subconsciously) all over this. i have to laugh about it at this point.

Drums are definitely a way to get away…

And finally, we have Toto.

My first exposure to ‘Hold The Line’ was actually Millie Jackson’s version (If you haven’t heard it go check it out). i have the album now, but the only Toto songs i remember knowing as a kid (besides the Thriller association) were ‘Georgy Porgy’ and ‘Rosanna’. Toto was one of those bands (like The Police, Hall & Oates, Wham!, The Doobie Brothers, Kenny Loggins, Ambrosia, etc.) that crossed over into the hood.

Jeff Porcaro was one of those drummers who prominently put the swing in rock music. i hope i did him justice here.