The lineup includes (in alphabetical order) Chris Chaney, Stewart Copeland, Liam Gallagher, Omar Hakim, Joshua Homme, Chrissie Hynde, Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Brian May, Mark Ronson, Supergrass, Roger Taylor, Rufus Taylor and Wolfgang Van Halen, along with members of Hawkins other band Chevy Metal and a special appearance by comedian Dave Chappelle. And there’s a promise of “many more to be announced.”
Tickets for the show will go on sale this Friday (June 17) at 9AM local time, and the benefit charities in the U.K. will be chosen by the Hawkins family and revealed shortly.
Upon the announcement of the show, Liam Gallagher, a longtime friend of Hawkins, stated via Twitter, “It’s an absolute honour to be invited to kick out the jams for Taylor Hawkins won’t let you down brother.” Both Gallagher and tribute show participant Wolfgang Van Halen were among the initial acts paying musical tribute to Hawkins onstage in their respective tours. Gallagher had dedicated the Oasis classic “Live Forever” to Hawkins during a show in London, while Van Halen covered Foo Fighters “My Hero” with his band Mammoth WVH during a concert in Boston. “He was a hero to me, a hero to us [pointing to his band], and a hero to countless people, so we feel this is necessary,” said Van Halen prior to performing the song.
Two acts that Hawkins absolutely loved are making their presence felt at the tribute show as Queen‘s Brian May and Roger Taylor and Rush‘s Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson will be part of the event. Upon Hawkins’ passing, Brian May had shared his frustration over Taylor’s death, wishing he could negotiate with death to bring the musician back. Hawkins famously performed the Queen song “Somebody to Love” at his final show. Meanwhile, Queen bandmate Roger Taylor dedicated his Officer of the Order of the British Empire honor to Hawkins, stating what a close family friend he was and commenting on the impact that Hawkins had on his son, The Darkness drummer Rufus Taylor, who is also part of the upcoming tribute show.
Hawkins also famously inducted Rush into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with fellow presenter Dave Grohl. In an interview with House of Strombo, Lee spoke of how heartbreaking it was to learn of Hawkins death, adding, “That really broke my heart.” Lee and Lifeson will be part of the tribute show as well.
Another big get for this show is Stewart Copeland, The Police drummer who served as one of Hawkins’ earliest influences. “My brother handed me a copy of ‘Zenyatta Mondatta,’” Hawkins said in 2019 BBC Interview. “This was 1982. He goes, ‘If you want to be good, you have to play it like this guy.’ My two first major inspirations — probably the two guys that shaped a lot of what I do when I play drums in a rock band — are Roger Taylor and Stewart Copeland.”
Copeland told Rolling Stone of Hawkins, “Taylor was a great hang, and there’s a big hole where a lot of laughs used to live,” Copeland said. “When we weren’t goofing off with each other, we were on the phone talking crackpot theories, get-rich-quick schemes, and just general hang bulls***. He was just indefatigably cheerful. He was emotional as well, but that just gave spice to his cheerfulness.”
Upon announcing the Hawkins tribute shows, the drummer’s wife Alison issued her first public statement since his death thanking fans for their “outpouring of love” for the musician, while also adding of the group, “We consider every band member and the extended Foo Fighters team our family.”
She went on to add, “In celebration of his life, it is now up to all of us who loved him most to honor Taylor’s legacy and the music he gave us.”
In addition to the London show, a second U.S. tribute show date is scheduled for Sept. 27 at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles. Guest performers and ticketing info for that show have yet to be revealed. There has also been talk of additional dates, but nothing announced as of yet.
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