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People need to stop jumping to conclusions about the cause of Taylor Hawkins’ death. Here’s why.

[Note: This article has been updated with a few footnotes in response to some of the comments below. – AC]

Hang on, people. We need to calm the f**k down a little bit. We don’t know enough about Taylor Hawkins’ death to declare ANYTHING just yet. (Trolls: Read this article carefully because you be succumb to your troll tendencies.)

Do any search for “Taylor Hawkins cause of death” and you’ll get 36 million hits that inevitably mention that he had “10 substances in his body” when he died. There was also an irresponsible comment by a Colombian official about finding “a cocaine-like white powder and hallucinogens” in his hotel room. Let’s look at these facts.

First, we need to look at those 10 substances. The preliminary toxicology reported that they included marijuana (big deal), tricyclic antidepressants (prescriptive medicines), benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety and insomnia meds), and opioids (could be anything from codeine cough syrup on up). Nothing on that list points to anything that could necessarily cause an overdose.

FOOTNOTE: We don’t have a full list of those 10 substances or in what concentrations they appeared. Hell, if you took my blood now, you’d find a couple of those chemicals. I’d test positive as the result of a couple of over-the-counter codeine painkillers I took for a headache earlier this afternoon. We also don’t know which benzos and which opiates in what combinations and in what concentrations. Could be something here. Or maybe not. We’ll see. And yes, I did report on these “10 substances” when the story first broke because that was an early part of the narrative. But it’s also important to follow up with new details and, if necessary, corrections and clarifications. That’s how responsible journalism works.

Second, what about the “cocaine-like white powder and hallucinogens?” No analysis of said substances has been released, so there’s no proof of anything. At least not yet. Reports also made much of the fact that “an empty beer can, an open bottled of vodka, and a bottle of Coke” were found in Taylor’s hotel room. Big friggin’ deal.

FOOTNOTE: We’ve heard nothing more about coke or hallucinogens from anyone in any country.

Third, we need to pay more attention to the fact that Taylor suffered chest pains before he died, the thing that send people scrambling for a doctor. The preliminary cause of death is listed as “cardiovascular collapse.”

An autopsy revealed that Taylor’s heart was twice the size (600 grams vs 300 grams) of a man his size and age. An enlarged heart–it’s called cardiomegaly–is not a disease unto itself; instead, it’s symptomatic of something else. Hearts can get big as a result of high blood pressure, thyroid issues, a virus, infection, stress on the body (it can happen with pregnancy), an injury to the heart muscle, or a congenital condition. And yes, cocaine and alcohol can be contributing factors. A possibility, yes, but not yet proven.

FOOTNOTE: Anti-vaxxers (see comments below) were quick to blame an mRNA COVID vaccine for Taylor’s enlarged heart. And yes, myocarditis–an inflammation of the heart muscle leading to the organ getting bigger–has been documented as a rare side effect in some recipients of a vaccine. It can affect even high-performance athletes (cf. Alphonso Davis of Canada’s national soccer team). And yes, myocarditis can cause a chronically inflamed heart. However, Taylor’s heart had apparently been enlarged for quite some time. From the sound of it, this condition could perhaps pre-date the onset of the pandemic, long before anyone had any vaccinations. Again, let’s not jump to conclusions just yet. This might be proven correct down the line, but we’ve got nothing yet.

In an interview with Rolling Stone publishing in June 2021, he claimed to be very healthy–and he alludes to his heart.

“I got the message [after his 2001 heroin OD], which was very important. And I’m lucky. I’m just lucky that I did get the message at the right time. So yeah, I’m healthy. I’m good … I get sinus infections really bad. And I just found out from my doctor, got all my blood tests and my heart everything checked and he goes, ‘Dude, you’re in amazing shape. Your heart’s big, because you exercise a lot. It’s like a runner’s heart.‘ And that’s fine. The only thing is, he said, ‘I think you have sleep apnea.’ And my wife’s always saying you snore and you fucking make weird noises while you’re sleeping and stuff.”

And yes, sleep apnea can lead to heart attacks, strokes, abnormal heartbeats, and sudden death.

FOOTNOTE: Some commenters call Taylor a “junkie.” A junkie is a habitual and regular user of hard drugs like heroin. Yes, Taylor managed to get himself in a coma two decades ago because he ingested some heroin at a party under unknown circumstances. But if he was clean and sober in the years since, that hardly qualifies him as a junkie. Way too harsh, dudes. And any comments alluding to recent regular drug use are, at this point, hearsay. Let’s wait for collaboration from reputable sources–if it comes at all.

Finally, there’s an unresolved story from last November. Remember when the Foo Fighters had to cancel their appearance at the final F1 race in Abu Dhabi last year? The band flew private to Chicago where they were supposed to connect to a scheduled Etihad flight. But when they landed, an unidentified member of the band was transferred to the hospital.

That was the end of the story. There was never any follow-up. But in light of what happened in Colombia, might that have been Taylor having cardiac issues? It’s certainly possible.

Pending a full report, let’s please back away from the he-definitely-and-obviously-died-of-a-drug-overdose thing. There’s no proof that’s what happened and there’s a lot of other circumstantial evidence that could point to something else.

FOOTNOTE: I’m not protecting anyone. I’m merely saying that we should withhold judgment until all the facts are in. And no, I’m not a doctor, forensic scientist, or coroner. Everything I’ve written is available from Dr. Google. Oh, and those two commenters who claim to be doctors: If that’s your command of written English, then I wouldn’t want to be treated by you. Ever.

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.

Alan Cross has 38536 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

83 thoughts on “People need to stop jumping to conclusions about the cause of Taylor Hawkins’ death. Here’s why.

  • Love the article!!! A reasonable man for unreasonable times!

  • Thank you for this
    I was wondering if anyone else read that article.

  • Thank you! This report on Taylor Hawkins was spot on! I’ve said the same thing since it happened and the fact that his heart was twice the normal size is what did it, not necessarily drugs. Your heart doesn’t grow to twice it’s size all at once. He obviously had underlying health issues and was also a smoker, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it didn’t help.
    Thanks again for the positive reporting!

  • Thank you for saying this!!!!

  • I couldn’t agree more with this article . As a former nurse , I too was disturbed by the assumptions made by the Colombian authorities . During a cardiac event , often times patients are treated with a process called “ MONA “ which is a treatment of morphine , oxygen , nitroglycerin and aspirin . This could account for the presence of opioids in his system . The other substances are , as the author states , not a big deal . People shouldn’t speculate that this was a drug overdose , it is premature and disrespectful to the survivors of this very talented man .

  • That’s a really intelligent take on this and similar stories. Respectful to Taylor and his family.

    If we withheld all of our opinions…and created instead of opined…what a wonderful world this would be, maybe.

  • We all already knew immediately it was the booster death shot. The linings of your blood vessels are now spikey, which triggers the platelets to clot. #clotshot

  • Thank you, Alan Cross. This needed to be said. It hurts his family and the Foos every time an article like that hits the web. We have an obligation to maintain Taylor’s dignity and he cannot defend himself. At this time no one knows the nature of his death. This sensationalism is poison.

  • He’d dead

    Big friggin deal

  • THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for saying this for people to see. I’m so tired of reading about 10 substances. Everything they report could easily be prescribed to him. I wonder if they will repeat the testing in the US.

  • Thank you for reminding everyone not to jump to conclusions. That tox report is from a urine sample and can show substances from weeks or months prior. It’s also very generalized and does not show specific drugs but rather a class of medications. As a pharmacist, when I read the 10 substances I thought “so, he had a pretty average American tox screen…” and I don’t see anything that screams of an OD.

    I think everyone wanted to report the news first and jumped on the easiest and most stereotypical answer that grabs headlines. TH may still have died of any reason, but I wish the news would stop printing alleged cause of death. It’s essentially slander until it’s proven. And even if it were an OD, that doesn’t lessen the loss or the life of TH.

  • Thanks Alan for a measured response to a sensationalized storyline.

  • I said the exact same thing.
    Almost verbatim.
    Day one.
    I do not believe he overdosed.

  • Who are you protecting?Taylor Hawkins was a junkie…it does disservice to his great music abilities AND a disservice to his family…just another Rock star dying from drug use.Stop lying about it ..get the truth out and we can focus on his music legacy.

  • I’m a board certified intensive medical physician I googled Taylor hawkins to see if any cause of death was released tooroveny original assumption correct. There is truly no jumping to conclusions. The author wrote this shit article to immortalize a junkie. Sorry tricyclic antidepressants can kill by itself. It’s a black boxed drug by the FDA for at least 12 years. It’s particularly dangerous and known to amplify any scheduled drug to untold magnitudes. Tricyclics have a heavy potential for abuse I seriously doubt they were prescribed. Lol… Cardiomegaly is not from exersize Dr dumbass. It’s a condition that dramatically shortens ones life . Most heart attacks that that occur on or before 50 are typically from coccaine and or stimulant abuse… This burnout was amplifying that potential by popping tricyclic antidepressants (typically seen with chronic abuse) .. this article was quite amusing. It made me laugh at the length that this pitiful journalist went to immortalize a drug addict. Believe what you want groupies. I’m a musician as well, a drummer of 40 yrs. But I know the reality. Aparantly most fools to see the truth. Weither you like it or not… I’ll end up being right when the truth is revealed. So despite the plethora of insults and comments that will follow my response… Ill be right in the end and you will continue to be angry and dumb.

  • Lots of people want to avoid the truth. I see so called nurses and others supporting this poorly written and laughably researched article.. you can overdose on codine, cardiomegaly considered a strong heart? Lol!!! The strengthen a heart is seen in contractility. Lol. Death from sleep apnea? Lol. Get aice looser. There’s no room in medicine for you idiot! Learn to fact check your bullshit tard… 90% of myocardial infarctions seen on or before 50 are from coccaine and stimulant abuse! Get a grip! Lol… Tricyclic antidepressants are pretty dangerous because they can amplify most scheduled drugs to untold magnitudes… Taylor hawkins died from ” serotonin syndrome”. He was a burnout who grew tolerant of the substances he abused so he took a black boxed drug ” that was phasedoutof medicine 12 years ago ” to amplify the drug effects … Tricyclics were replaced with SSRI antidepressants because burnout junkies kept overdosing when they combined with their addictions. Nobody’s jumping to conclusions. Educated guesses are correct. I’ll be right in the end. Groupies will be angry and dumb. The end…

  • I call Bullshit on this Article. You are not a doctor, let alone a cardiologist. I thought Taylor was an awesome dude, but you do not know the extent of his past abuse of drugs… His track record says he was in a Opioid Coma in 2001. I think his past abuse of substances led to a damaged heart, thus leaving him more vulnerable to future episodes. In the end, good guy, with a bad heart. Don’t try to sweep that under the rug…

  • Thank You for doing this !! PLEASE have it posted EVERY WHERE!! You did an AWESOME JOB in GETTING THE MEDICAL INFORMATION!! That’s is the REAL STORY!! Straight Up on POINT!!!
    People “Always” point the finger at Drugs, Alcohol, Overdoses…. that is THE BS to “say, or post “
    Lisa Coggin

  • To Rick Stewart. Smoking is a big deal! When you are a smoker with congenital heart issues, it exacerbates your underlying conditions. How unfortunate that in Western Medicine that lifestyles are often overlooked for the rich and famous who can afford to pay for the prescriptions.

  • We also can’t rule out the possibility of an adverse effect from the Rona vaxxine. This poorly tested product has been killing and injuring people and the most commonly reported effects relate to the cardiovascular system, and specifically to the heart (pericarditis, myocarditis).

    If the guy had an enlarged heart, then it was a prime target.

  • Thank you for this! The press have been driving me nuts with this! Spot on, here.

  • Completely agree with this article. Obviously knowing very few facts I’ve only suggested that the cause was due to his heart. There’s several drugs that can be prescription drugs so that’s not something I’m assuming is the cause. But some people just expect negative things! Yay for this article very sensible and not at all negative

  • Yes! Thank you for this. I hate all the click-bait crap that’s being posted. Cardiomegaly is a bfn. So is being a heavy smoker. Let him Rest In Peace.

  • I have to wonder if the altitude in Bogotá made things worse. It will mess with you. It’s 8,000 feet up; 3,000 higher than Denver. It’s rough on the body for a couple of days of adjustment.

  • Taylor has historically done cocaine on every festival visit to Columbia we made with Foos.
    Perry Farrell said just a month beforehand musicians should have a license to do drugs.

    Ask yourself:
    Do you think there was cocaine freely available at a music festival with well-known drug users?
    Why would Taylor suddenly abstain after years of not abstaining?

    Indeed, you may be asking yourself who he was hanging around with most and who may have supplied him with the drugs…

  • I loved his music and performances. Big Foo fan. Hated the recent devil worship crap.
    The Foos were all boosted. A very likely cause. Not to mention his smoking and apparent continued drug use. He was a junkie and admired to his love of drug use.
    The 8000 ft Bogota altitude is no joke either.
    Boosted on the Pharma juice and scheduled substances. I’m sure that had nothing to do with his death.

  • A possible contributing factor not mentioned and certainly could affect the heart is the altitude in Bogota. It is 8,500 feet above sea level – 3,500 feet more than Denver. Many tourists must rest for 2-3 days to let their bodies acclimate to the elevation. If he had existing heart issues, the altitude could certainly play some role. In Denver, many fighters arrive several weeks before their match to allow themselves to acclimate to the altitude and oxygen levels. If drugs were the issue, Taylor didn’t suffer at their other concert locations, but did in Bogota. Just a thought to consider.

  • All I know is is there is any truth to myocarditis caused by the COVID vaccine, I’m gonna be so f’n pissed that took my favorite drummer from us at 50 years old?!?! Sad thing is they’ll never admit it so save your breath sheeple, your jab(s) is of course excused despite countless testimonies of people dying from the shot(s), SMH, ugh. 😫

  • It’s odd, article is about him not having a drug overdose. The people in the comments having a problem with it are drawing nothing but strawman arguments. Booster shots, past drug use taking a toll, unwarranted speculation built off a stereotype of a rock star, etc. Nothing about him overdosing.

    The biggest joke is the dude with immature rhetoric claiming to be a doctor. I bet all these idiots believe in God, no one should respect them.

  • Sorry, but did you say “Nothing on that list points to anything that could necessarily cause an overdose.”?!

    I’m not sure you know what an opiate is. Or what happens when combined with a benzo. You can OD of either drug alone. But combined its way more likely. Also you only listed 4 of 10.

    I get not jumping to conclusions. But with a list like that, it’s a pretty safe bet. Weed and psychedelics are fine and don’t harm you. Opiates and benzos are fucking terrible.

    I support the article, and live the foo fighters. It maybe do a little research before you make a statement like that.

  • I thought the same as this article. How painful for his family to jump to conclusions-stereotype him as a druggie when most likely his heart was the physiological problem. I hope they have another autopsy and clear his name for his family’s sake. Mr. Hawkins was a genius , a light that will always shine and never be forgotten.

  • I thought the same as this article. How painful for his family to jump to conclusions-stereotype him as a druggie when most likely his heart was the physiological problem. I hope they have another autopsy and clear his name for his family’s sake. Mr. Hawkins was a genius , a light that will always shine and never be forgotten. Everyone please stop jumping to conclusions. I feel there will be wrongful death lawsuits filed.

  • Thank you for bringing this to light and writing this article. Out of respect to Taylor, his family, band, etc., it’s never right to assume without facts. The first thing that stood out to me upon hearing of his passing, and mentioned several times, it that he complained of chest pains. It’s sad to know that he was aware that something was wrong, yet people assume it was an overdose. In all of this, I’ve learned not many people are compassionate and understanding of the bigger picture. He sounded like an a sweet person who will be very much missed by many.

  • Thanks for being the Devils Advocate!!!

  • More than likely the official cause of death will include drug use and let’s face it most 50 year old rockers are pretty depressed by that point. No guy in his state of health is living the wild sexual days of his youth. It’s pretty much all over red rover in that department. Not good for the ego!

  • Thank you for this article. It referenced the rolling stone article from last year, which popped in my mind, too. I forgot about the incident in November. My first thought was that if he overdosed, he would not have had the wherewithal to ask for help for chest pain in the first place. RIP Taylor. ♥

  • You anti-vaxxers are stupid MFers. Seriously.

    And to the so-called “Dr”, F off – you typed all that nonsense just to prove you don’t know shit.

    #Foo 🤘

  • Did you just learn about the internet, Alan?. This is what social media and news outlets thrive on – misinformation and speculation for clicks and to elicit comments on their message boards. Even messages in this forum are full of speculation – a heart condition, depression, which drugs are bad, which arent, the altitude in Bagota, talking about strawman arguments and rhetoric like some Reddit loser, etc. It’s fucking hilarious.

  • This is exactly what I’ve been thinking. Drug overdose my f-n ass! Anyone who believes this bullshit is gullible.

  • I first read about the “10 substances found” through….Alan Cross posting about it on March 27 at 7:15pm. True or false, I felt gross for clicking through.

    The problem with posting “just allegations and claims” on any topic is that few people ever check the factual updates in the days weeks months and years that follow to confirm or deny whether these allegations were true or false. People are being hardwired to Only remember the sensationalized headlines and click bait that brought them there in the first place.

    Alan Cross is not a doctor or an investigative journalist. He is in fact a popular and leading authority on Music Opinion and Commentary, and for good reason: he does the work and more often than not, that work is great. He made a mistake printing the allegations. I made the mistake of clicking on it. The above featured article aims to (rightfully) walk back the “10 substances found allegations” as News or Facts. And I strongly agree and disagree with the above article as well. It is possible to hold 2 contradictory beliefs at the same time. It doesn’t make you a hypocrite, it makes you Human. But hey that’s, just, like, my opinion, man.

    Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes cost a career. Sometimes they cost a life. Sometimes there are no consequences whatsoever. Own it. Calm down. Make better choices. Do better. Do more. Walk towards well informed conclusions instead of recklessly jumping towards them.

    Or don’t.

    Either way…you, me, Alan, Taylor…we are all flawed.

    “Well excuse me for having enormous flaws that I refuse to work on”
    Homer Simpson

    • At the time of the allegations, this was a developing news story. At that point, it’s a journalist’s responsibility to report everything that’s being said. In the coming days and weeks, however, it’s equally important to revisit the original story with updates, developments, and corrections. This article is part of that process: an opportunity to advance the narrative and the story with any new information that’s become available.

      This article–if you go back and read it again–cautions against plenty of the clickbait-y stories that have been posted.

      New information is now available. Let’s follow up on the story in a respectful way. Taylor Hawkins was a beloved public figure. Many fans really want to know what happened.

  • I am very glad that someone is finally making the statement about the fact that the COD for Taylor Hawkins has not been released to the public. Shame, shame, shame on those who assume that they know just because of some vague statements supposedly made by authorities in Columbia. It is sooooo easy to judge, judge and judge with no consideration to the man himself let alone his family and his friends. Kudos for saying enough is enough!!!

  • Very good. These are almost same drugs i use. I think that in my systems flow 8-10 drugs. But i’m working and live ordinary life. Doctor said that i will take last pills in my last day.

  • AMEN! When I heard complaining of chest pains I believed immediately the verdict will conclude the above. Tell me when an overdose victim goes and complains of chest pains before they’re ready to go and take their “cocktail of death”. It stands to reason that Bogota being the historic mecca of the white substance that the “Authorities” would say such a thing to boost their reputation. Ever seen Taylor stoned out when performing; I think of Ginger Baker et al when I see druggies playing a kit. Perpetuating this assinine assumption that he was stoned also destroys the entire band’s reputation. As being his dearest friend Dave would know his daily routine and or issues if there were any. Next they’ll be saying/reporting Dave is too! FN morons! They are in their 50’s now and although people of that age do do drugs look at the history; do you think after Cobain’s issue and time of over 23 years being solid the other band members would tolerate it? They have been down that road many many moons ago. When people jump to conclusions by way of hearsay it always puts the worst light on a situation rather than people thinking all the good things. People can have good points but one bad thing and now they are doomed for life. People need to wake up and not go by hearsay but go by FACTS; JUST THE FACTS MA’AM, JUST THE FACTS. It takes time to get those facts and all shall see that the drug overdose assumption was BS and should have never been reported less being said.

    Sorry about that, RIP Taylor Hawkins!!


  • Good article.

    Re: Myocarditis, it it also a symptom of COVID infection itself (in fact it occurs at much higher frequency as a symptom of COVID infection than as a rare side effect of vaccination). Your reference to Alphonso Davies implies that his myocarditis was a result of the vaccine, which (as I understand it) is not the case – he had COVID.

  • Whoever wrote this article has no education at all on drug interactions. Mixing Benzodiazepines and Opioids is one of the most deadly drug interactions in existence. It’s one of the quickest ways to die. This was without a doubt the cause of his death.

    • Absolutely. But what benzos and opioids? And in what concentrations and combinations? Possible evidence here, yes, but nothing conclusive. At least not yet.

  • “First, we need to look at those 10 substances. The preliminary toxicology reported that they included marijuana (big deal), tricyclic antidepressants (prescriptive medicines), benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety and insomnia meds), and opioids (could be anything from codeine cough syrup on up). Nothing on that list points to anything that could necessarily cause an overdose.

    FOOTNOTE: We don’t have a full list of those 10 substances or in what concentrations they appeared. Hell, if you took my blood now, you’d find a couple of those chemicals. I’d test positive as the result of a couple of over-the-counter codeine painkillers I took for a headache earlier this afternoon.”

    The author of this piece is doing what he’s asking others not to do…jump to conclusions. And his conclusion is we shouldn’t ask because drugs may not have been involved. And then he gives examples such as taking an over the counter codeine painkiller to show Hawkins could have died from something other than drugs.

    It’s not bizarre to ask “What did he die of?”. Because if drugs were the cause then it would be yet another example of someone wasting their life. I’ve a medical marijuana card, but I don’t smoke a lot and then go and drive my truck. Same with drinking. Why? Because I remember previous examples of those who did that, of those who had horrible/tragic accidents or hurt someone, and it gets me to think twice. And that’s why it isn’t wrong to ask “What was Taylor Hawkins cause of death?”.

  • Thank you Alan, for your sensitive and non-judgmental work on the topic of how or why Taylor has passed. Quite frankly, it is really no one’s business but his wife, family and the Foos.

    I am actually quite disgusted by some of the things I have heard regarding his passing. When did journalism as we used to know it deteriorate to the almost intolerable levels it has sunk to?

    I first noticed this tendency to use language and enunciation to ‘sensationalize’ an event. At that time it seemed to occur only on slow news days (CTV and Global anchors are often the easiest to spot) but that trend is now happening with every news cast. All it does is incite and inflame any variety of societal traits that are not particularly desirable.

    It really doesn’t matter in any event, doesn’t make him any more or less dead.
    Thank you again for your non-judgmental journalism and for sharing your knowledge and love of (rock) music!

  • Thank you for your measured and thoughtful response, Alan.

    I have never scrolled comments, or responded to trolls, or commented online. Ever. 1st time responder, 20+ year music industry producer/writer/artist.

    I have had the unfortunate privilege of being on the receiving end of the horrific news of a treasured and loved Rock Band’s inner circle having passed. More than once, and once is too many. In one case myself and the band (and anyone associated with the band) was publicly banned from the funeral in the country’s largest newspaper and online, fuelled by misguided information and irrational reactions to an extremely difficult time of grief, loss and trauma.

    I have also had the unfortunate privilege of dealing with the “authorities”, from the coroner to the fire rescue, local police and detectives when sorting out the untimely death of a fellow artist in a single car accident. I quietly and on my own accord throughly vetted the hours leading up to the accident, the scene of the accident, having grow up in the area where the accident happened, and I was able to correct the “conclusion jumping” information that the “authorities”, friends and ultimately his overseas family had all been given in order to better represent what had actually happened in order for everyone involved to better process the pain, trauma, grief and loss that we were all were experiencing.

    All the of this and much more has taken me out of the Music Industry for a few years now. And the reason is becoming clearer: My inability to properly grieve my catastrophic losses, betrayals, trauma…left untreated and unrecognized it can take down anyone with a pulse. It was a mistake to believe I was being a Man by burying my truth.

    Because of the above mentioned personal experiences, this entire issue of “10 substances found” was personally triggering and I was compelled to weigh in. Not to preach or teach, but to share. I should have better clarified in my initial response: the “authorities” never should have shared speculative “information” in the first place. At the time of your initial posting of that info, I was looking forward to reading more in depth facts on the matter, as this is what I am accustomed to consuming from your writings. I value your opinion, curation and delivery of Music Journalism. In this particular case, at that particular time, there was no additional info other than the headline, and that compelled me to respond.

    In all my time working and developing artists, I have vocally shared a fundamental value of my own: It’s not about getting it right Now, it’s about getting it Right.

    Alan, you are getting it right. Continue to show me, and all your readers the better way and the right way to share, respond and navigate this difficult and traumatic shared experience.

    Big love to all who are feeling this loss. Please help each other process and grieve the loss of Taylor Hawkins, the Man. And let Taylor Hawkins the Artist provide the soundtrack to the better days ahead on your journey.

  • Thank you so much for this! Both your original article and the new one with footnotes. I can’t tell you how many people have tried to belittle my grief by saying he’s a “junkie” so it’s his own fault. Regardless of how it turns out, his death was tragic and the use of drugs doesn’t change that fact. He was a beautiful person that meant so much to me and millions of others around the world.

  • Wishful thinking but I appreciate you’re trying to be respectful in your appraisal of the situation.

    I suppose you didn’t come across the fact that when paramedics arrived, the band alluded to there being the possibility that it was drug induced.

    (In emergency medicine, when we arrive on scene, it is pivotal to the patient’s survival that there be a full disclosure of any cause to ensure the correct action is taken so as to give the patient the best possible chance of survival.)

    It shouldn’t have been leaked that that was disclosed but confidentiality is difficult to preserve in a crisis.

    Some of your medical reasoning is quite off in the above. Sleep apnea causing cardiac issues. Too much to go into. You’re way off, though.

    Most likely, he OD’d.

    A pity. Seemed a good soul and leaves behind a wonderful family.

  • A little harsh, my learned colleague.

    (Although I feel that there is merit within the gist of your comments (just not the way they are expressed!).)

    I think this one has become caught up in emotion and perhaps lost the way of his journalistic rigour.

    Also, let’s not speak too harshly of the dead – I’ve always hated terms like ‘junkie’; myself and colleagues won’t use them.

    You are completely correct, of course. The possible suggestions in this article as to cause of death outside of the realm of substance abuse, would make even the most inept of corners blush.

  • Ah shoot, ‘coroners’.

    Good ol’ fat thumbs.

  • My daily doze is 150 mg oksetsapam, Pregabalin 900 mg, Tramadol 1000-2000 mg(SIG !), Venlafaxin 300 mg, Bupropini 600 mg SIG!, sometimes codeine, not smoking. I am 59 years old man from North Europe. I have very long history with drugs, about 30 years. As i wrote before i working and live normal life. I am quite good shape, i cycling and walk,( before procyclist used drugs). I am little obese, 182/102.

  • Thanks for writing this. I just listened to the podcast associated with the Rolling Stones interview you mentioned. It broke my heart – definitely made me feel his death was not an overdose.

  • Dear Alan,
    Thank you for writing this article. While the global media was irresponsibly decimating a man’s legacy (no surprise there), my thoughts went straight to the legalities involved when an American citizen dies in a foreign country. Not to mention a third world country known for corruption and infighting (information easily verified on the U.S. State Department’s Travel Advisory page.)
    But I am going to stop right there because you are correct in that this is no one’s business other than Mr. Hawkins’ family and friends. Three children lost their father. A wife lost her husband. They have to live the rest of their lives without him. That is a heartbreaking tragedy.

    Lastly, my own father was a physician. Specifically, an acute care surgeon. He was a brilliant doctor who saved countless lives. Based upon my own experience being raised by a physician who was certified by the American Board of Surgery, I can tell you this:
    1) There is NO WAY a doctor specializing in emergency medicine would be posting about the death of Taylor Hawkins. NO WAY. They don’t have the time.
    2) If, for some unimaginable reason they did post, they would NEVER have spewed out the nonsense the supposed “MD” and “doctor” have written on this site. It was embarrassing.
    3) Adding to your earlier observation, after spending at least FOURTEEN YEARS in school and in training, DOCTORS KNOW HOW TO SPELL!!! Their penmanship may be horrible, but one thing is for certain – they know how to spell. It’s actually a legal thing.
    Again, Alan, great article. Much appreciated.

  • Thank you for this article. In the end, it’s a huge loss. Give his memory and family respect at this time.
    RIP TH

  • So let me guess this straight. On the list of substances found on him you named a bunch including “OPIOIDS”. You then said that opioids could be “anything from cough syrup and up” and then “nothing on that list points to anything that could cause an overdose..”
    Dude are you kidding?
    That word alone represents a large group of serious painkillers and possible overdose suspects that includes PERCOCET and OXYCONTIN.
    THEN! even further, if you look at that other meds found, one absolutely has to consider now that IF it WAS oxycontin ( … not cough syrup ) , that a number of combinations of OXY and any one or two of the remaining drugs is a potential death sentence. OXY ( one step down from heroin ) by ITSELF even has killed thousands. I would say you’re about to find out that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. But you are correct that no one should jump to conclusions, it may not have been a lethal painkiller until its determined.. May he Rest In Peace.

  • I have an idea.. MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.

  • It doesn’t take this long for a toxicology report. It was concluded within hours. A news in Colombia reported from police sources he died of overdose. People are going to keep asking.
    I don’t know why people shouldn’t speculate, he lived and died in the public eye which he certainly didn’t avoid.
    The big question is when they finally announce the obvious how quickly does Allen Cross rush to being the first to report.

  • In my system right now:

    Cocodamol (codeine/acetaminophen 32/500,x8 daily). Prescription opioid. Pain management.

    Tramadol. 50mg x8 daily. Synthetic Opioid. Pain management

    Cannabis butter brownies. Pain management.

    Cannabis is still illegal here, so I can only take it when the kids are away with their dad, but dear gods it helps.

    Pregabalin, 900mg daily. Pain management

    Omeprazole. Protection from reflux, which obvs is heartburn. Heartburn can sometimes be hiding actual heart issues, because severe GERD can mimic and/or mask heart attacks. I am used to chest pains, which gives me less time to react if I had *heart* chest pains.

    Celecoxib 200mg daily. More pain management. Ripping ligaments and tendons multiple times per day really hurts, as does fibromyalgia, which is a secondary condition to my main (EDS)

    Oestrogen. HRT. Used by all those women in our glorious variation-but not something men in *their* glorious variation usually take!

    Venlafaxine. (Effexor) 337.5mg x2 daily.

    First prescribed in 2010, so an older drug still prescribed even though newer SSRI drugs are now prescribed instead, but I’m on it because it is the one that works for me best. Friends are still on benzos who were prescribed in the first decade of this new century. They haven’t been weaned off because they are now all in their 40’s and 50’s, and weaning off long term antidepressants is incredibly heard on the heart and needs to be monitored daily for the months it takes to titrate down.

    Amyltriptaline, 20mg per day. Additional anti anxiety medication for turning my Squirrel Of Anxiety off at night so that I can hopefully sleep. While this can be hit and miss, it keeps me from needing stronger medication that I might need if I was wired from performing or stressed out about the next show, or the next day flight. 50 years old and I hate both flying and what turned out to be crippling stage fright

    And finally,
    Certirizine hydrochloride 30mg daily. I am immune compromised and allergic to bloody everything it seems. Fun fact: I used to be on a different antihistamine, which mas banned in the EU for causing erratic heart beats palpitations and suspected of causing heart damage. It isn’t banned in North America , or wasn’t when I was last there in 2016.

    Search my bedroom and you’ll also find alcohol: my tipple of preference is gin and orange juice.

    Search my bloodstream and you’ll find abnormally high levels of various vitamins, as my various multivitamins also have some duplication.

    LI’m not saying Taylor had EDS or Fibro, but intense physical activity hurts like hell-the drumming would definitely had some pain management requirements and my management regime is almost identical to a friend with fibro and RSI as well as his wife who has rr MS, her mother with osteoarthritis and my stepmom with hip dysplasia and 2 hip replacements.

    The point is, between an individual and their long term doctor there are few secrets. Like Taylor, I have a minimum of 10 different prescription and non prescription in my body at any one time in my body, but the differences between me and Taylor include tmy not being chased by the bloody Daily Mail, and them being highly unlikely to want to sensationalise my autopsy results.

  • This was perfect and EXACTLY what I have been trying to tell people. Thank you.

  • I was specifically looking to an article that didn’t have highlight something to do with a drug overdose and I finally came across this after looking around. Thank you for being reasonable about this. The media thoroughly enjoys exaggerating stories to create drama and chatter. I believe the most reasonable thing to do would be to listen to Mr. Cross who “HAS INTERVIEWED the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and THE FOO FIGHTERS.” I’ve seen Taylor Hawkins play and speak. Alan KNOWS music and he knows the relationship Tyler had with it.

  • Thanks for your writing. Respect and love for Taylor and his family. Tank you.

  • All i can say is what a shame that i had to scroll so far before finding this article. Sadly the general population won’t look this far to read a report that points out common sense without judgement!
    RIP Taylor Hawkins

  • Unfortunately while no details are forthcoming about Taylor’s death, the speculation will continue. It breaks my heart every time I see a comment online about Taylor being a “druggie”. I don’t believe he was anything of the sort (and neither does his personal driver, BTW). What happened to him 20 years ago does not mean he was using now; and as others have said, the initial urinalysis findings mean nothing – many of us have perfectly legal prescription drugs in our systems that would show up like that. That idiot who released the tweet about it was highly irresponsible and sadly, even though I believe the tweet was removed, it was too late – the damage was done and now it’s all that is mentioned in any articles about Taylor’s death. We deserve to know the truth – for Taylor’s sake as well as his family’s sake. But I fear the truth will never be allowed to come out.

  • “…benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety and insomnia meds), and opioids (could be anything from codeine cough syrup on up). Nothing on that list points to anything that could necessarily cause an overdose.”

    I agree that Hawkins having 10 types of drugs in his system in no way means he died from a drug overdose, and all of those drugs can be safely mixed in proper doses. However, opioids are opioids regardless of whether it comes in the form of cough syrup or pill form. However, the risk for mortality, (overdose) is significantly increased when opioids are concomitantly used with benzodiazepines.

  • It was quite obviously drug-related. You’d have to be really naive to look at all the *known* facts and assume anything else.

    • But the “known fact” aren’t exactly specific from a forensic point of view, are they?

    • But the “known facts” aren’t exactly specific from a forensic point of view, are they?

  • It still feels that there are so many variables at play, at least in regards to what has been reported. It appears that Taylor was not concerned about his enlarged heart, but was this checked out completely with stress tests etc? Was he experiencing pain in the lead up to this event and take more medication than usual to reduce his symptoms and be able to perform? What levels of these substances were found by a proper toxicology test? Was he depressed and anxious in his hotel with the extra down time of the previous concert being cancelled?

    It feels at this stage that the collective grief that is experienced by fans will not be acknowledged, and it is possible that no more information will be made available.

  • I have to admit… I’m starting to feel like it is actually disrespectful to their fans now.. I have loved and followed Foo Fighters for 20 years! As have many. And I loved Taylor as much as I love anyone to be honest. I think people like me absolutely do have a ‘right’ to know how he died. I think it is right to be totally respectful of his closest family and friends of course! But I don’t think the two things are mutually exclusive! I am by no means a conspiracy theorist but there seems to be something sinister in the withholding of all information, which for me personally makes me feel unappreciated as a 20yr fan (without whom they would not have the lives they have) and also prolongs the grieving process. Taylor would not have wanted this. I just hope and pray that the truth comes out, so his legacy and story is this life has the ending it deserves. Although I acknowledge that if there is some kind of V conspiracy in play, which seems to be the case… we will unlikely ever be told the actual truth. I send my love to other fans who are grieving and my deepest condolences to his loved ones. Taylor was the absolute best and will be so so missed. I’m sure he lives on in some other better realm rocking out with Freddie and David. 🙏🤘🤍🦅

  • Thanks for the reality check. One thing that’s never mentioned is the altitude he was at in Bogota which is 8,661 ft high. That’s some seriously thin air which puts strain on your heart. The altitude alone could be the main cause of his death.

  • Most likely cause of death given the publicly known information: underlying predisposing factors (cardiomegaly, obstructive sleep apnoea) + drug use (either prescribed or illicit, or a combination of both) –> cardiac arrest.

  • Oh, please. Drug overdose. Simple. No hero. Weak as fuck.

  • There is absolutely no truth to what these so called doctors have said, here in the comments. This is a fact! None of these so called doctors have ever met, assessed or treated the patient, therefore they don’t have the knowledge of his diagnosis nor his cause of death. This is hostile behavior. Embarrassing to the medical field to say the least.
    My deepest condolences to Taylor’s loved ones, may he Rest In Peace.

  • Well it turns out he was a Junkie after all….how tragic and foolish of him to leave behind his family in such a selfish way!

    • There’s no proof he was a junkie when he died. All we have is an unreliable urine test that didn’t mention the concentrations of what they found.

  • Totally agree w/ this – we’re too quick to jump to drug-overdose anytime someone in music industry dies.

    However…“I’d test positive as the result of a couple of over-the-counter codeine painkillers I took for a headache”…uhh OTC codeine painkillers?! U must live in US, Canada, or UK cuz that’s not possible.


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