Both Taylor Hawkins tribute shows were unqualified successes. But very quietly, some people have been asking a simple question: Why did Taylor get such extravagant send-offs? Other famous musicians have died but didn’t have massive events in their honour on both sides of the Atlantic.
Here’s an example of the emails I’ve received:
Something struck me about the 2 concerts Dave Grohl put on for Taylor Hawkins at Wembley and LA. I understand why Dave Grohl would want to pay tribute to Taylor, but artists like Neal Pert, Chris Cornell, and others never had a tribute like this one. Why this one for Taylor Hawkins?
Did Dave Grohl put these two massive shows together to make up for the money lost because the Foo Fighters had to cancel a big tour because of COVID? Did this have anything to do with not having proper cancelation insurance? Did they owe Live Nation something as a result of having to call off that tour?
This may or may not be a good example, ZZ Top knowing Dusty Hill was ill had a replacement for him and continued the tour. I am sure after a brief break for grieving. Dave could easily have found a drummer and rescheduled.
It’s a good question that few want to ask lest they be called disrespectful. Here’s my answer:
- Taylor was in one of the biggest and most-connected bands in the world. They knew everyone and everyone knew them.
- Dave Grohl was Taylor’s best friend in the whole world. They were closer than brothers.
- The guys in the Foos are super-close and extremely supportive of each other. These shows were both part of the grieving they needed to do.
- Taylor was genuinely liked by everyone who met him. I met him a bunch of times and he was really, really nice. EVERYONE said the same thing about him. A celebration of his life was in order.
- Dave is widely acknowledged as the nicest dude in rock. He’ll go to the wall for family and friends. And he has friends in high places everywhere.
- The Foo Fighters are managed by a VERY powerful company that is extremely well connected. A couple of calls and…
- Insurance? I’d be SHOCKED if the Foos weren’t insured up the ying-yang for every possibility and eventuality. Remember how shows had to be canceled because of Dave’s broken leg medical emergency? And given the long lead-up to tours, I’m sure they have the foresight to take out special COVID insurance.
- Bottom line? Dave wanted a tribute to his friend. And with the resources he has at his disposal, what Dave wanted, Dave got. Nothing wrong with pulling out the all stops to honour your best friend.
Nothing nefarious here. Taylor just had some great people in his corner.