In their most recent performance, the Red Hot Chili Peppers paid tribute to Taylor Hawkins, the late drummer of the Foo Fighters who died on March 25.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers performed at JazzFest in New Orleans earlier this weekend. The Foo Fighters were supposed to headline the festival but they canceled all future performances after Hawkins’ death. Dave Grohl, the Foo Fighters frontman, did attend the Chili Peppers show along with other band members and Hawkins’ widow, Alison.
Chad Smith, the drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, was a close friend of Tayor Hawkins. Per Variety, his bass drum read “Taylor” on the front, with a hawk drawn around it. The hawk seems to match a tattoo Hawkins used to have on his arm.
Near the end of the show, Smith walked up to the microphone and said, “We love the Foo Fighters and we love our brother Taylor Hawkins. It’s meant a lot to us to be able to play for them.”
Smith then started a “We love you, Taylor!” chant with the crowd.
In an interview with Billboard earlier this week, the Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer revealed that the 90-minute JazzFest set was a “celebration” of Taylor Hawkins’ life.
“We’re taking Alison, his wife, with us and it’s going to be a celebration,” Smith told the outlet. “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 added, “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.”
Red Hot Chili Peppers Drummer Chad Smith Posts Heartbreaking Tribute to Taylor Hawkins on Instagram
On April 1, just five days after Taylor Hawkins died, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith posted a touching video tribute to him. The video features clips of both Hawkins and Smith, both on stage and just hanging out. You can see the close bond between the two, in their words and actions.
“Taylor’s my good buddy who I’ve known forever,” Smith says at one point. Later on, Hawkins says, “I think we’re going to make a lot of other rock bands a little jealous.”
The Foo Fighters’ hit song “My Hero” plays in the background, adding even more emotion to the scene. The video later ends with Smith’s speech on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Red Hot Chili Peppers received their star on March 31, days after Taylor Hawkins’s death.
“I have to give a shoutout to my brother Taylor Hawkins. I love you, Taylor,” Smith said in his speech earlier. “He would laugh and make a smart-ass comment about this whole thing.”