I know, I know. The grief is still unbearable and the healing hasn’t even begun to take hold. Hell, we haven’t even had the funeral yet. But it’s out there: Who might take over the drummer’s spot in the Foo Fighters now that Taylor Hawkins is no longer with us?
Let’s be very, very clear: Taylor cannot be replaced. His personality, charm, and contribution to the family chemistry of the Foo Fighters are things that developed over 25 years. I can speak from personal experience that he was one of the nicest musicians I’ve ever interviewed, second only to Dave Grohl himself. But if the Foos are to continue, they’ll need someone to keep time.
The more I brooded about Taylor’s death, the more I’ve come to believe that the Foos will eventually regroup and continue because Taylor would never want something bad that happened to him to ruin things for the other guys, especially Dave. I just know it. He’d want them to keep going and to continue their good fortune. It’ll be hard–the ghost of Taylor will always be with the band–but it can probably be done. And if (when?) the Foos do hit the road again, the outpouring of love from the fans will be insane.
In fact, regrouping might be the best therapy for everyone associated with the band. And if that’s the case, someone will have to play drums.
Again, I apologize for talking about this already, but as I said, the topic is out there. There’s not a Foo fan anywhere in the world who hasn’t thought about this. You have, too. Admit it. You can’t speculate about the future of the Foo Fighters without stumbling on this topic.
The successful candidate will have to have chops equal to Taylor; that goes without saying. At this level, the most important thing is chemistry, personality, and humanity. This person, whoever he/she may be, will have to fit into the Foo Fighters family.
One way to skirt the issue of replacing Taylor might be to bring in a series of guest drummers, people who won’t become official members of the band but who can fill in on tours and live appearances. That might be the most palatable route to take for fans, too.
The first article I saw on the subject appeared in The Georgia Straight yesterday (March 30). It offered four suggestions, punk rock drummers who may get a phone call at some point.
- Lucky Lehrer (Circle Jerks, Redd Kross, Bad Religion, Wasted Youth)
- Spit Six (Fear, Nina Hagen, Lydia Lunch, Dick Dale)
- Earl Hudson (Bad Brains)
- Chuck Biscuits (D.O.A., Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Danzig, Social Distortion)
Interesting thoughts. But who else might be on this list? After talking things through with a couple of people, I came up with these names.
- Travis Barker: Like Dave Grohl, he’s super-versatile and has boundless energy. He was also a very, very, very good friend of Taylor. Having him join the Foos when he’s not busy with Blink-182–billed as a guest drummer and not a full member–might be the way to go.
- Stephen Perkins: The Jane’s Addiction drummer was also a very good friend. Nothing wrong with his abilities, either.
- Tommy Lee: It’s been floated by some, but he might be a little too volatile for the Foos’ tastes. Then again, he was also Taylor’s friend and may have been one of the very last people to speak to him.
- Chad Smith: If the Chili Peppers weren’t about to embark on yet another album cycle, he may have been a good choice. Probably not going to happen, though.
- Brad Wilk: The Rage Against the Machine man is a hard-hitter with a great groove. Maybe?
- Cindy Blackman: She’s often recognized as one of the best female drummers of all time. Remember her from Lenny Kravitz’s band?
- Meytal Cohen: If you haven’t seen this Israeli-born woman’s drum cover videos on YouTube, Google her now.
- Nandi Bushell: Okay, she’s just 11, but Dave and the Foos are besotted with her abilities. Maybe a guest drummer appearance?
- Dave Grohl: I hear he plays drums. And he might know a few Foos songs already.
Again, I’m sorry for bringing this up so soon. But I like said, the talk is out there.