Dave Grohl makes his first public appearance since Taylor Hawkins’ death. Well, sort of.

It’s been well over a month since we heard the awful news that Foo Fighters’ drummer Taylor Hawkins died in a Colombian hotel room. Details about what killed him are still mysterious. We’ve only heard about (a) an enlarged heart, something that he’d known about for quite some time; and (b) a mix of substances (combinations and concentrations of which were never revealed) was found in his blood.

Other than those bits of news–both of which came out within 48 hours of his death–we’ve heard nothing. The news blackout has been total. (Read more of what I’ve written on the subject here and here.)

Yesterday, though, Dave Grohl was seen in public (well, the first reported sighting and he wasn’t exactly accessible) at Jazz Fest in New Orleans. He was seen side stage with Alison, Taylor’s widow, as the Red Hot Chili Peppers performed a tribute to Taylor. Chad Smith’s bass drum featured Taylor’s name surrounded by a hawk image, which is similar to one of his tattoos. Chad dressed the crowd: “We love the Foo Fighters and we love our brother Taylor Hawkins. It’s meant a lot to us to be able to play for them.”

Dave was also seen at Preservation Hall Saturday night to see Pete Townshend of The Who perform a couple of songs.

The Foos were supposed to play Jazz Fest, but that, of course, was canceled.

(Via Variety)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

15 thoughts on “Dave Grohl makes his first public appearance since Taylor Hawkins’ death. Well, sort of.

  • May 2, 2022 at 11:20 am
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    Is it curious that Alison didn’t come out to address the crowd? I guess these are baby steps. The fact that she and Dave made the trip to Jazz Fest at all suggests progress in grief. The healing power of music, and to be with musician friends. Chad, and I wonder if Perry was there.

    Rock 1000 tribute to Taylor was beautiful. Just goes to show how one person, Taylor, affected so many, and was beloved for truly being himself on top of the tornado of talent.

    Dave must be very confused. How do you square losing the flesh and blood of your best mate? I picture Dave in New Orleans rather haunted, walking around, hoping to find the final meaning in the music . Heart wrenching.

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  • May 2, 2022 at 8:33 pm
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    Thank you for your articles on this. You do a great job.
    I too am awaiting news about what happened to Taylor, and the media blackout indeed is striking!
    Surely he deserves a more ornate goodbye than just some videos from Bogotá and a vague tox report, and some murmured speculation.
    He also has an album recorded with NHC, that they were supposed to put out over the course of 2022. The singles sound dope, and I believe this band would have been huge.

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  • May 3, 2022 at 2:43 pm
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    Dave certainly didn’t look “confused and haunted” (as the first comment speculates) in his happy smiling photograph taken in New Orleans at the weekend. It saddens (and angers) me to think that he, and Taylor’s wife (and I believe, a couple of the other Foo Fighters) can emerge from their grief long enough to enjoy a jazz festival but apparently cannot address the fans (not necessarily at this event, but even just online) with any personal statements about how much they loved Taylor Hawkins, or make any explanations/clarifications about his death. Not even a simple statement to the effect that he’s been laid to rest. Are they just going to let the OD rumors continue? Taylor does indeed deserve better than murmured speculation (he also deserves a proper send-off) but surprisingly his “Foo Family” doesn’t seem to be the ones to provide it.

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  • May 3, 2022 at 6:33 pm
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    But they did address the fanbase when Taylor died about how much they love him and asked for privacy. It’s not our business to know what happened. If his wishes were for no one to know or for the family to keep it hidden, that’s their choice, not ours or yours.

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  • May 4, 2022 at 4:09 pm
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    Why do “fans” expect that everything has to be about them? Are we all that entitled? The Foo Fighters and Taylor’s wife are all grieving for the loss of their beloved Taylor. If you are truly fans, then let them grieve in their own way, in their own time and give them the space they need and deserve. Their need for privacy is far more important than your craving one more sound bite about how they are hurting.

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  • May 4, 2022 at 11:11 pm
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    Hey, DaffodilFudge, where did you see a photo of a smiling Dave at Jazz Fest? Where have I been? I’m with you that this no news is good news approach to fans about Taylor since the first two brief statements is….uh, creepy. I feel as you do. Other fans are more patient, and I respect that. Wish I could let it go man. But the FF wanted to play stadiums and include a monster audience. Fans like family sang along, held signs, got up on stage to play with them, hell, not even a broken leg could stop Dave when it came to fans. Why not say one word about the state of things as time ticks along? Trust us a little more instead of…. the drawbridge is up and you guys don’t deserve to know. I feel we do.

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  • May 5, 2022 at 1:17 pm
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    Hi Moi, I saw the photo on Foo Fighters Reddit (I’m not a member, but I’ve been keeping an eye on it from time to time to see if there is any news). I don’t know if I can post links here, but it was on a post titled “Seeing Dave Smiling at JazzFest Gives Me Hope”, posted on May 3rd. (If you do an internet search for that search string it seems to bring up the photo). And yes you’re right – it is the overwhelming silence that is so disconcerting.

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  • May 5, 2022 at 4:23 pm
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    Hey DaffodilFrudge, I saw it and a photo of T’s wife at RHCP performance. Thanks. Grief is a funny thing. I lost two sisters within two years when I was younger. My parents are gone. There’s a plethora of reactions, from isolation to wanting to live life to the fullest. It’s never ending, the lifetime school of grief. You pass from stage to stage, but don’t graduate. Dave is gonna do Dave. I think he’s controlling the information with protective privacy. For himself, the band and ultimately Taylor’s children. It doesn’t sit well for some of us who just want the truth and stew over it. What I can’t understand is how he manages to shut it all down in this day and age. Take the incident in Chicago at the hospital
    last December… how do you stop ALL the people who work in the hospital from talking? Not an iota of information is leaked. I call him the Wizard of Foo controlling the levers behind the curtain. It’s amazing, impossible and intriguing! The black hole, however, rubs me the wrong way. I’ll say it. Now after all my tantrums, Dave is probably gonna say something tomorrow. I gotta get over it. One person who commented on an Alan article said it best – It’s like Taylor Hawkins travelled down to Colombia, and just never came back.

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  • May 6, 2022 at 4:05 pm
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    Hey DaffodilFudge, saw that. Thanks. Well, Dave is gonna be Dave. Grief is a tricky lifelong education you never graduate from. He will be laughing and crying. Out and about smiling, then isolation. The thing I can’t square is how the info block is so complete. When a band member went into the hospital in Chicago last December … nothing. How do you stop people at the hospital, from talking and leaking anything in this day and age? I call Dave The Wizard of Foo, controlling the levers behind the curtain. How he does it defies gravity. It rubs me the wrong way. I’ll say it. I think this is all downright strange and feels covert. I’m going to stop throwing tantrums and move on now. Makes me sad. Crawling away now with my tail between my legs.

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  • May 6, 2022 at 4:07 pm
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    Bloody hell, thought my other comment didn’t go through. So wrote another one addressing same. Sorry Alan.

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  • May 13, 2022 at 1:42 pm
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    Dave owes his fans absolutely nothing, and if he doesn’t wanna talk, that’s his goddam right. We all grieve at some point, and we grieve and mourn differently. It’s especially hurtful if it’s someone you love like a sibling, or a sibling….I lost my sister when she was 28. It took me 8 months to even talk to anyone.
    When my father passed away, a month later I was at a 30 Seconds to Mars concert chatting away with Shannon Leto.
    When Dave is ready, we’ll hear from him. Hell, even I still cry .
    R.I.P. Taylor, we love and miss you so much. ✨✨✨✨✨✨✨

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  • May 16, 2022 at 10:20 pm
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    Interesting article from Rolling Stone today.
    Even Taylor’s closest friends are now asking questions. I’m thinking it’s time for Dave or the Foos Organization to go public with something. There is too much denial going on, especially if those closest to Taylor are questioning also. This is just too odd., and it feels like they are hiding things from everyone.

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  • May 19, 2022 at 9:04 am
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    Vampires, parasites, and pariahs. I am referreing to the meddling media and entitled fans. The Foo family owes no explanation to any of you, and every touring musician that has been in the biz has had bouts of tour- burnout, especially as they age. My God, Heaven forbid Dave Grohl ever smiles again.

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  • May 19, 2022 at 6:23 pm
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    The loss of Taylor Hawkins is too devastating to contemplate. How does anyone frame a response? Of course I utterly respect the Foo Fighters’ statement expressing love and asking for privacy to grieve. Family, friends and family are all attempting to come to terms with this tragedy and yes, will all react in a plethora of ways. The ‘no news’ approach is quite spooky in its all-consuming silence; but then no-one would wish to re-enact the media circus that surrounded Kurt Cobain’s death. Dave Grohl has yet again lost a dear friend and esteemed band member in the full glare of the public eye. The precedent is unique and incomprehensible in terms of it’s emotional impact. I agree that Taylor’s passing should be dealt with as sensitively as possible. No amount of disclosure to the world will ease the grief. We may be sure, however, that he would have been laid to rest with much love and celebration of his life.

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  • May 27, 2022 at 10:33 am
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    What does everyone want? Expect? Leave him alone. Once was enough but losing two friends like that. Just leave Dave be.

    Reply

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