Red Hot Chili Peppers Pay Tribute to Taylor Hawkins at Jazz Fest – Billboard

The Red Hot Chili Peppers kept Taylor Hawkins in their hearts, and on their drum kit, on Sunday (May 1) as the “Black Summer” veterans helped to close out the first weekend of the 2022 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival with a tribute to the late Foo Fighters drummer. According to NOLA.com, with Foos leader Dave Grohl and Hawkins’ widow, Alison, watching from the wings, Chili Peppers drummer (and Hawkins pal) Chad Smith played a bass drum featuring the hawk silhouette that was featured in a tattoo on Hawkins’ arm, with “Taylor” spelled out across the image.


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“We love the Foo Fighters and we love our brother Taylor Hawkins,” Smith said at the end of the band’s 90-minute set as he stepped to the front of the stage. “This means a lot to us to be able to play for them.” The Chili Peppers stepped in as a headliner after the Foo Fighters dropped off the bill in the wake of Hawkins’ shocking death on March 25 in Bogota, Colombia; the band later canceled the rest of their 2020 shows.

Smith, who noted that “the guys in the band are here,” along with Alison Hawkins, then led the crowd in a cheer of “We love Taylor!”

Before the set, Smith told Billboard that they had invited Alison to be there and planned to turn their performance into a celebration of life. “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,’” he said. “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.”

Following Hawkins’ death, Smith posted an emotional video filled with footage of the two musicians together over the years and clearly relishing each other’s company. The video ends with Smith giving a nod to Hawkins when RHCP received their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on March 31.

Check out some fan footage of the tribute below.

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