My Statement on the Passing of Foo Fighter’s Drummer, Taylor Hawkins
It was 2008. No it wasn’t. It was 2002. Wait. Wrong again. Definitely 90s. Suffice to say, the specific year doesn’t matter to the story.
I had braces, a butt cut, and a hemp necklace from summer camp. My cousins — twins, same age as me, a year ahead in school (surprised?) — invited me to my very first concert.
I clearly don’t remember the year, however, this being a defining moment in personal music preferences, I do remember this: I wore orange Abercrombie & Fitch (AF) cargo shorts (with elastic tighteners, as one would find at the bottom of a winter jacket, at the mid-knee base), a navy AF shirt, The hemp necklace and plenty of gel to keep the butt cut part razor sharp (want more bad hair gel vignettes, ask about my first big group trip to the movies…).
I walked into the UNO Lakefront Arena and was confused by how cloudy it was inside the venue. I could feel the electricity fed by the anticipation of what was sure to be a melodic assault to the auditory and tactile senses.
The setlist has escaped memory. This was pre-smart phone, pre-middle-schoolers have a cell phone, and maybe event pre-cell phone (except maybe the few able to afford to carry around the Zack Morris phone). I’ll say they opened with “Times Like These” and closed with “Everlong.” But that’s easy because who’s going to call me out right? (but seriously, if you were there or know the set list or any other details, please get in touch!) My favorite song that year was “Learn to Fly” so that puts this experience sometime in 1999, which would be 7th grade.
This is all to say, for my first concert, I can’t remember the year or the set list, but I specifically remember Dave Grohl stopping the program and preaching on how he loves a “fucking kick-ass drum solo (paraphrasing),” at which point Taylor Hawkins lit up his kit. Who ever heard of a drum solo? This was pre-Drumline. This probable shows a combination of my age and environment. I think I had an Ace of Base cassette tape and maybe some CDs of movie sound tracks. B97 or 106.7 never strayed from the hit tracks. To hear the raw talent and energy was unbelievable. The out-of-body experience was unforgettable. The love, admiration, and respect the band members had for one another was undeniable. My fan-status of the Foo Fighters was solidified and maintained to this day.
RIP Taylor Hawkins. I cannot imagine the FF being who they are without you.