It’s been nearly two months since the death of Foo Fighters’ drummer Taylor Hawkins, and today Rolling Stone shared a profile chronicling the musician’s final days with the band. In it, several friends and colleagues say Hawkins regularly felt the stress of the band’s constant touring, and he had allegedly reached his limit.
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“He had a heart-to-heart with Dave and, yeah, he told me that he ‘couldn’t fucking do it anymore’—those were his words,” Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron explains. “So I guess they did come to some understanding, but it just seems like the touring schedule got even crazier after that.”
“He tried to keep up,” Cameron adds. “He just did whatever it took to keep up, and in the end he couldn’t keep up.”
Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers reiterates Cameron’s statements, referring to Hawkins’ reported collapse on a plane in Chicago last year.
“That was one of the straws that broke the camel’s back,” Smith says. “After that, he had a real important heart-to-heart with Dave [Grohl] and the management. He said, ‘I can’t continue on this schedule, and so we’ve got to figure out something.’”
While none of Hawkins’ former bandmates agreed to be interviewed for the piece, a representative for the band alleges “there was never a ‘heart-to-heart’—or any sort of meeting on this topic—with Dave and [Silva Artist Management].” However, an anonymous colleague and friend of Hawkins also claims Hawkins had a discussion with Grohl.
“The fact that he finally spoke to Dave and really told him that he couldn’t do this and that he wouldn’t do it anymore, that was freeing for him,” the friend says. “That took fucking balls. That did take a year of working up the guts to do.”
Hawkins’ cause of death is still unknown, although urine toxicology reports found numerous drugs in his system at the time of death, including marijuana, antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and opioids. According to the RS piece, forensic doctors reported that Hawkins heart weighed 200 grams (about twice the amount of the average human’s) and he might have collapsed regardless of any drug use. The results of the autopsy have not been released to the public.