RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS paid tribute to late FOO FIGHTERS drummer Taylor Hawkins during the band’s concert Sunday (May 1) at the New Orleans Jazz Fest.
At the end of RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS‘ set, the group’s drummer Chad Smith, who had “Taylor” spelled out on his bass drum, gave a brief speech honoring his friend.
“We just found out about this two weeks ago, because FOO FIGHTERS were supposed to play here tonight,” Smith said. “We love the FOO FIGHTERS, and we love our brother Taylor Hawkins. So this means a lot to us to be able to play for them.” He then led the crowd in a chant of, “We love you, Taylor.”
FOO FIGHTERS frontman Dave Grohl, Hawkins‘s widow Alison and other members of the FOO FIGHTERS were reportedly in attendance at the concert.
FOO FIGHTERS were originally scheduled to headline the Jazz Fest but canceled all tour dates in the wake of Taylor‘s death on March 25.
Several days before the New Orleans Jazz Fest performance, the PEPPERS said that their set would be a celebration of Hawkins‘s life. “We’re taking Alison, his wife, with us and it’s going to be a celebration,” Smith told Billboard. “That’s what she wants. She doesn’t want it to be anything other than, ‘Let’s celebrate music, let’s celebrate our friends, let’s celebrate Taylor. This is what he would want and he would be very happy that you guys are playing and he would want it be nothing but a positive experience.’ So we’re going to do all that and she’s going to be part of that and I’m very honored that we can do that with her. … We’re going to play our hearts out.”
Hawkins was found dead on March 25 at the Four Seasons Casa Medina hotel in Bogota, Colombia while FOO FIGHTERS were on tour.
An official cause of death for Hawkins hasn’t yet been released. But on March 26, Colombia’s attorney general’s office released a preliminary toxicology report, saying that medical examiners found evidence of 10 types of substances in Hawkins‘s body, including opioids, benzodiazepines, marijuana and antidepressants.
Hawkins joined FOO FIGHTERS in 1997. Prior to that, he played with the Orange County band SYLVIA and was also in the backing band for Sass Jordan. He also toured with Alanis Morissette as her drummer.
Hawkins was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame last year as a member of the FOO FIGHTERS.
Hawkins‘s most recent work with FOO FIGHTERS included last year’s “Medicine At Midnight” album, a collection of BEE GEES covers and FOO FIGHTERS‘ horror film “Studio 666”.