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Filling the Throne of Taylor Hawkins?

Updated: Mar 7, 2023

Foo Fighters face replacing their dearly departed drummer for upcoming tour.

A few friends have recently asked me who I think may be Taylor Hawkins' replacement to tour with the Foo Fighters in their upcoming tour. My first response each time I was asked, was my favorite hopeful, 12 year old Brit Nandi Bushell or Taylors' son Shane Hawkins. As I really don't know what drummers are seriously being considered, I did a bit of digging to see what serious possibilities are out there and here's what I found on the subject...

In New Hampshire, the Foo Fighters begin their 2023 tour on May 24th without their beloved drummer, Taylor Hawkins. Hawkins left us on March 25 2022 in South America from a possible overdose at the age of only fifty. There are rumours flying about several different options, including the possibility of Dave Grohl sitting behind the drum kit where his best buddy Taylor sat, and taking on the role of the Foo drummer himself. If he did that he'd have to forfeit playing lead guitar for the band. Cause he clearly cannot do both. And his signature blue 1967 Gibson Trini Lopez guitar may have to be put away if he becomes the Foo drummer, as he did for three and a half years for Nirvana.

The rumours of replacements for Hawkins have included drummers such as Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Stuart Copeland (The Police), Lars Ulrich (Metallica), Brad Wilk (Rage Against the Machine), Matt Cameron (Pearl Jam) and Rufus 'Tiger' Taylor (The Darkness). The problem with these fine choices is that they all have full time jobs already, apart from Copeland, but he doesn't need the work. And he has enough going on in his own career post The Police! Of course Nandi Bushell, (my favorite), the twelve year old prodigy from the UK, (she'll turn 13 in April), has been mentioned by many. And another young possibility would naturally be Oliver Shane Hawkins, Taylors' seventeen year old son. Both of these teens are amazing on the drums and either would have my vote, but the possibility may be slimmer than a more seasoned player. More seasoned drummers that are a better possibility would be session drummer, hired gun Josh Freese or Omar Hakim. Freese is the right age and has had a lot of experience in punk rock in his history. He has also had a history of stepping into already established bands. Saying that, Freese may just be too busy as he also has full time gigs with Devo and The Vandals. He's also played for Offspring and one of my favorites, Danny Elfman.

The other likely possibility would be session drummer Omar Hakim. A drummer from New York in his early sixties. He has worked with legends David Bowie, Madonna, Sting, Journey, Miles Davis, Weather Report, Kate Bush and the Foo Fighters in the past. He is not a member of any band full time and his talents are immense as a rock drummer. He's got a slightly different style to Taylor but from everything that I've heard about him, it certainly sounds as if he is very qualified for the job. And along with Josh Freese the most likely two candidates to take that throne.

Though Rufus 'Tiger" Taylor does have a full time gig with The Darkness, Rufus has known Taylor Hawkins since he was a kid. Rufus Taylor is Roger Taylor (of Queen) son. Rufus has been a long time friend of Foo Fighters and even though he is the full time drummer for The Darkness, I personally think Rufus may be one of the front runners for the Foo throne.

There are also other names flying around, and a handful of metal drummers that may be considered as possibles. Either way those sticks will be emotionally difficult to pass on to another drummer after the tight 'bromance' between Taylor and Dave was so strong. But if the Foo Fighters are going to go on as a band, finding a new drummer, is simply something they have to do to survive. (or find a new lead guitarist if Dave was to be the drummer),

Being a very devoted Foo Fighters fan myself, the only hope I have is that Matt Cameron does not take the position of the Foo drummer. In my opinion Pearl Jam needs Cameron on the throne on their own stage. I'm also a huge Pearl Jam fan and the last time I saw them, in May of 2022 Cameron did not play as he had covid, so I heard first hand what PJ sounds like without Matt Cameron...and it was very apparent to me that he is a giant part of the Pearl Jam sound and I would hate it if he were no longer a part of that band! As much as they need Eddie Vedder, in my opinion they definitely need Matt Cameron to stay in the band as the Pearl Jam drummer to continue their awesome PJ sound!

These photos were shot from two Foo Fighters shows from the past 5 years.

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