Larry Busacca/Getty Images Taylor Hawkins and Dave Grohl
With the death of Taylor Hawkins, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl lost not only his drummer, but his longtime best friend.
Grohl, 53, and Hawkins shared a tight bond that stretched back 25 years, and the two often spoke fondly of each other in interviews, with Hawkins even calling Grohl his "f—in' life partner" in a recent chat with Entertainment Weekly.
The drummer, 50, died on Friday in Bogotá, Colombia, just before the Foo Fighters were scheduled to take the stage at a music festival. Local authorities said an ambulance was dispatched to his hotel after he complained of chest pains, and paramedics' attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.
Ten different substances were found in a preliminary urine toxicology test, including THC, tricyclic antidepressants, benzodiazepines and opioids, according to the Attorney General's Office of Colombia.
Upon announcing Hawkins' death, the Foo Fighters said that his "musical spirit and infectious laughter will live on with all of us forever," and days later said they'd be canceling all upcoming tour dates in order to grieve and heal.
RELATED VIDEO: Dave Grohl Sees Kurt Cobain Every Time He Plays the Drums
Hawkins joined Foo Fighters in 1997, three years after Grohl founded the group upon the disbanding of Nirvana.
In his memoir The Storyteller, Grohl described the drummer as "my brother from another mother, my best friend, a man for whom I would take a bullet."
"Upon first meeting, our bond was immediate, and we grew closer every day, every song, every note that we played together. I am not afraid to say that our chance meeting was a kind of love at first sight, igniting a musical 'twin flame' that still burns to this day," he wrote. "Together, we have become an unstoppable duo, onstage and off, in pursuit of any and all adventure we can find."
He added, "We are absolutely meant to be, and I am grateful that we found each other in this lifetime."
The rockers first became friendly in the mid-'90s, and Hawkins first met the band while he was on the road with Alanis Morissette as her touring drummer. When Hawkins heard on the radio that the group's original drummer had left Foo Fighters, he called up Grohl to plead his case.
Richard Dobson/Newspix/Getty Images Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins
"I said, 'Hey, I heard you guys are out of a drummer right now.' And Dave said, 'Yeah. Do you have any good recommendations?' And I was like, 'Well how about me, you asshole?'" Hawkins recalled to Entertainment Weekly last year.
While Grohl was all for Hawkins hopping on board, he hadn't thought to recruit him, as he was already working with Morissette.
"Taylor was playing with Alanis Morissette, who was selling out stadiums all over the world," he told Radio X in 2017. "I imagined that for him, to play drums in the Foo Fighters would be considered a demotion."
The musician later said that when Hawkins eventually did join the band, "we were like, in love with each other."
"The first time we had a beer together, we were like, 'We're gonna be best friends for the rest of our lives,'" Grohl told Radio X in 2018. "And it's true, really. We're still… we're like this."
Eric Charbonneau/Shutterstock Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins
While Hawkins has said he was "super intimidated" to join Foo Fighters, as Grohl's own drumming skills were already the stuff of legend, he eventually found his groove.
"My first hurdle was the same one that the first drummer never made it over — which was, 'How do you be a drummer in one of the greatest rock & roll drummers of all time's band?' he told EW. "Do you try to be like Dave, or do you try to be less like Dave, or do you try and find the middle ground? It took me a while before I could find my own zone, so to speak."
Grohl, meanwhile, has since said that in finding members of the band that would fit just right, he was looking more for "emotional" prerequisites as opposed to musical, and found Hawkins fit the bill because of his love for bands like Queen, Genesis, Yes and Rush.
Rich Fury/Getty Taylor Hawkins and Dave Grohl
Over the years, the two's friendship remained strong — and when Hawkins landed in a two-week coma following a drug overdose in 2001, it nearly led Grohl to walk away from music for good.
Grohl, who had lost Kurt Cobain seven years earlier, told The Guardian in 2011 that Hawkins' overdose traumatized him in the helplessness he felt waiting for him to recover.
"I freaked out... When Taylor wound up in hospital I was ready to quit music," he said. "Because, to me, it felt like music equaled death. I started praying. I've never been to church in my life, and I'm walking back from Taylor's hospital to our hotel every night, praying out loud in the streets of London. I don't even know if I believe in God. But I felt like, y'know, this is just not right, y'know, what kind of God would let this..."
Hawkins eventually recovered, and not even eight months apart due to the pandemic changed their dynamic.
"Getting back together again, it was like a slow-motion movie where there's two lovers running through a field of dandelions and they have this collision," Grohl told EW. "When we all came back in late summer and just sat in a room, it gave me so much happiness — without instruments, just being together."
Added Hawkins: "With Dave, I met this guy who was going to be my f—in' life partner, you know? We become a little bit telepathic on stage."