I know. Too soon. But this is an issue that’s going inevitably have to be dealt with.
Let’s be very clear: Taylor Hawkins will never be replaced in the Foo Fighters. Impossible. The chemistry and friendship he brought to the group was essential to the family nature of the Foos. He was this loveable, buoyant goofy guy with whom Dave Grohl gladly shared the limelight and the stage. He was Dave’s best, best friend. In his memoir, The Storyteller, Dave said he’d “take a bullet for Taylor.”
How does Dave Grohl soldier on without Taylor? Shades of Kurt all over again.
And it’s not just Dave. Pat Smear was a touring guitarist with Nirvana when Kurt died. And before that, he was in The Germs. The day before John Lennon was shot, singer Darby Crash died of a heroin overdose, so this is the third time Pat has gone through something like this.
How does Dave, Pat, and the rest of the band Grohl step onstage and not feel Taylor’s presence behind him? Or will they just have to suck it up and keep going?
There are two ways of looking at this. First, there’s the human element.
Oh, sure, Dave can find someone to keep time for the band. But he’ll never, ever have that same Lennon-McCartney/Keith-Mick/Laurel-and-Hardy relationship he had with Taylor. Taylor also had a special relationship with the fans. They loved him.
Comparisons are being drawn with Led Zeppelin. When John Bonham died on September 25, 1980, there was no question that the band was done. Without Bonzo, there was no Led Zeppelin, so the group folded. Another comparison is with Rush. The group had already retired when Neil Peart died, but his death put an end to any possible talk of a reunion.
And imagine being the person selected to be the next Foo Fighters drummer. The pressure would be insane. Who could handle that?
But we also have to look at this from a business point of view.
The Foo Fighters are a multi-million-dollar machine, a corporation that employs dozens of people and has commitments for tours, appearances, and albums. Dave is not a quitter. Dave isn’t the kind of guy who can sit still. And he knows he has responsibilities that involve many other people. He’ll have to consider the case of the Rolling Stones. Charlie Watts was a founding member. When he died, it took a couple of weeks for Steve Jordan to be drafted into his spot.
Do the Foos continue in Taylor’s honour? Or do they honour him by saying that there are no Foo Fighters without him?
At some point, there will be a very, very tough band meeting involving the management team and perhaps even the record label.