Song: Taylor Hawkins’ “YYZ”
Two members of Rush join the late Taylor Hawkins at a Foo Fighters concert in 2008
Back in 2019, I featured the Rush song “YYZ” here, a monster instrumental known the world over.
The recent and shocking passing of the Foo Fighter’s drummer Taylor Hawkins merits a revisit of the song via this rough, rowdy, cursing-with-joy laden, and rock-soaked clip of Hawkins soloing in Toronto in 2008, summoning the Rush guitar gods with the famous YYZ bell pattern, and then breaking into a rendition of “YYZ” when joined by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson.
Hawkins listed Rush’s Neil Peart as one of his main influences, and Rush and the Foo Fighters have had a long and warm relationship, stretching back years and extending beyond Rush’s magnificent and long-overdue induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where Dave Grohl and Hawkins not only gave an impassioned, exasperated speech praising their musical heroes, but donned kimonos to rock out with their own version of a portion of the Rush opus “2112.”
Hawkins’ enthusiasm and energy made him a great friend for Grohl, and a source of pure musical joy for those who knew him. Originally gaining fame drumming for Alanis Morissette, he joined the Foo Fighters in 1997. His friendship with Grohl was deep and intense, as they became fused in their vision to make the Foo Fighters the biggest band in the world.
Hawkins shocking death at the age of 50, while at the peak of his abilities and touring South America, has led to a great outpouring of praise and sorrow.
This video below — which shows his ability and his love of music — is done in tribute to this great person who left us too soon. At the end, you can see how he emanated and inspired pure joy.