On Saturday September 3rd, the first of two Taylor Hawkins tribute shows happened at London’s Wembley Stadium. The late Foo Fighters drummer’s legacy was honored with a mega-concert led by Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters, which included a slew of guest appearances from the likes of Liam Gallagher, Travis Barker, Josh Homme, Hawkins’ son Shane, and even comedian Dave Chappelle. Following Liam Gallagher’s kick-off performance in which he played two Oasis songs backed by the Foo Fighters with Grohl on the drums, Dave Chappelle took the stage to introduce the evening’s next performance. But he took a few minutes to speak to the crowd about a fond memory he had of Hawkins as a father.
Chappelle spoke about a time when he was at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York after a Foo Fighters concert at Madison Square Garden where Chappelle briefly appeared on stage with the band. At the jazz cub, Chappelle noted interactions between Hawkins and his son Shane (who was dynamite on the drums playing “My Hero” at his father’s tribute concert.) Chappelle said that “Taylor Hawkins is a legend of a man, he’s a legend of a musician and he’s a legend of a father…” But the entire story that he told the London crowd, as reported by NME, is a stirring recollection by Chappelle, that spoke to Hawkins’ nature as a rocker and more importantly, as a father. Read a transcript of the story below.
“November 2020, I had the honor of hosting Saturday Night Live with the musical guest, Foo Fighters. It was a very special night, we had a very wonderful time and after the show, me and the band were talking about what our favourite karaoke songs were. Mine was “Creep” [by Radiohead]. Dave Grohl called me and asked me to sing “Creep” with them at Madison Square Garden. I had smoked some reefer so I agreed.
Right before I went on, they said, ‘Taylor Hawkins is gonna sing one song and then you’re up.’ And Taylor sang Queen, “Somebody To Love.” Now let me tell you something, I never get nervous to come on stage but Taylor killed that sh*t. I was terrified and the walls of Madison Square Garden were shaking. And after the show I went backstage and hung out with the Foo Fighters, and I met a kid who must have been 12 or 13 years old.
I asked the kid if he skated, because he was wearing skate shoes. He said, ‘I don’t skateboard cause I don’t wanna hurt my arms’,’ I said, ‘What the kind of f*ck answer’s this? A simple yes or no would have sufficed.’ The kid said, ‘I wanna be a drummer, like my father.’
In that room in Madison Square Garden, even though I had met the Foo Fighters many nights, I felt like I met them for the first time. I’ve seen Taylor be a rockstar many nights but it was my first time seeing him be a Dad, and what a cool f*cking Dad. It was the first time that Dave Grohl and I ever even mentioned the name Kurt Cobain. It was the first time we ever even talked about our love of jazz and go-go music and Taylor’s son Shane was soaking it all in. He sat there, he asked the best questions – not about fame, always about art.”
Chappelle explained that the group had later gone to the Blue Note and watched pianist Robert Glasper perform: “I listened to Taylor and his son the whole show talk about the drummer. I remember Shane say to his father as he was listening, ‘Dad you can’t do that sh*t.’ I’d never heard someone talk to a rockstar that way. And Taylor Hawkins, as humble as is, said, ‘Son, those are real musicians.’
Taylor Hawkins is a legend of a man, he’s a legend of a musician and he’s a legend of a father and Shane, I’m very proud ’cause I saw you play for your father and I’m happy to see you and god bless you.”