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Paul McCartney pays tribute to Taylor Hawkins: “You were a true rock and roll hero”

[L-R] Paul McCartney and Taylor Hawkins
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Since the tragic and untimely death of Taylor Hawkins last week, musicians have come forward to honor the Foo Fighters drummer. 

They include Wolfgang Van Halen, who played a rendition of My Hero during a recent Mammoth WVH, and Slash, who hailed him as a “really good friend and a kickass drummer” during a gig with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators.

And now, Beatles legend Paul McCartney has added his voice to the chorus of tributes, posting a lengthy statement on social media.

“Taylor's sudden death came as a shock to me and the people who knew and loved him,” McCartney writes. “Not only was he a great drummer but his personality was big and shiny, and will be sorely missed by all who were lucky to live and work alongside him.”

McCartney goes on to recall how he came to play drums on Foo Fighters track Sunday Rain, from 2017's Concrete and Gold.

“I was asked by the Foo Fighters to play on one of their tracks,” he says. “It turned out that they wanted me to play drums – on one of Taylor's songs. This request came from a group with two amazing drummers!

“It was an incredible session and cemented my relationship with Taylor and the guys. Later, they asked if I would induct them into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”

Foo Fighters were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2021. After being introduced by McCartney, Dave Grohl and co took to the stage to perform three tracks: Best of You, My Hero and Everlong. The group subsequently delivered their acceptance speech, before performing The Beatles classic Get Back with Paul McCartney himself.

“I'll never forget that night,” McCartney continues. “All of which made it much more of a desperately sad shock to hear he had died. So thanks Taylor for sharing some glorious minutes with me. You were a true rock and roll hero and will always remain in my heart.”

Taylor Hawkins passed away last week aged 50 in Bogotá, Colombia, ahead of their scheduled performance at Festival Estéreo Picnic on Friday night (March 25).

Toxicology reports issued by Colombian officials showed traces of 10 different substances in Hawkins' body at the time of his death, including opioids, marijuana and anti-depressants.

As a result of Hawkins' death, Foo Fighters have canceled all upcoming shows. “Let's take this time to grieve, to heal, to pull our loved ones close, and to appreciate all the music and memories we've made together,” the band wrote on social media yesterday (March 29).

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Sam is a Staff Writer at Guitar World, also creating content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar (opens in new tab).