Red Hot Chili Peppers and Pearl Jam drummers slam ‘sensationalized’ Rolling Stone article about late Taylor Hawkins

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The friends of late Foo Fighters drummer and singer Taylor Hawkins aren’t pleased with the way he’s been memorialized by Rolling Stone.

Drummers Chad Smith, of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Matt Cameron, of Pearl Jam, took to Instagram Wednesday to critique the magazine’s article published Monday, entitled, “Inside Taylor Hawkins’ Final Days as a Foo Fighter.”

The band, which Hawkins had joined as drummer in 1997, announced his death in late March. The 50-year-old was found dead in a Bogota, Colombia, hotel. Though a cause of death has yet to be released, local authorities reported that drugs were found in Hawkins’ system.

“Taylor was one of my best friends and I would do anything for his family. I was asked by Rolling Stone to share some memories of our time together, which I thought was going to be the loving tribute he deserved,” wrote Smith, 60. “Instead, the story they wrote was sensationalized and misleading, and had I known I never would have agreed to participate.”

Cameron had a similar sentiment to share on his account, writing: “When I agreed to take part in the Rolling Stone article about Taylor, I assumed it would be a celebration of his life and work. My quotes were taken out of context and shaped into a narrative I had never intended. Taylor was a dear friend and a next level artist. I miss him.”

Both Smith and Cameron apologized to Hawkins’ friends and family for their participation.

The article — for which 20 people were interviewed about Hawkins’ “career, legacy, and outlook near the end of his life” — delves into Hawkins’ musicianship, his sheer and unadulterated love of music and the alleged pressures he felt to keep up with an overwhelming tour schedule after the Grammy-winning Foo Fighters resumed performing last year after a hiatus due to COVID. Hawkins’ family, as well as the band and Foo Fighters management declined to be interviewed. A representative for the band, according to the outlet, said they “dispute Hawkins’ friends’ characterizations of how he was feeling.”

Among those characterizations are quotes from Cameron in which he says Hawkins, overwhelmed by the intense post-lockdown touring schedule, “told me that he couldn’t f—ing do it anymore.”

Smith in the article was quoted as identifying Hawkins as the band member who collapsed aboard a plane in Chicago late last year, saying, he had been “dehydrated and all kinds of stuff” and that the incident “was one of the straws that broke the camel’s back,” leading to his chat with Grohl and management. The rep countered this as well.

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