Dave Chappelle recalls spending time with Taylor Hawkins and his son: “A legend of a man”

Hawkins' son Shane watched from the sidelines as the comedian shared the memory with Wembley Stadium

Dave Chappelle recalled spending time with Taylor Hawkins and his son Shane at today’s (September 3) tribute concert to the late drummer.

Liam Gallagher, Mark Ronson, Queens Of The Stone Age’s Josh Homme, Supergrass, Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor, The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde, Blink-182’s Travis Barker, AC/DC’s Brian Johnson, Kesha, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich and more are due to perform at the special gig.

After Gallagher performed ‘Rock’n’Roll Star’ and ‘Live Forever’ for the first music of the day, Chappelle took to the stage to introduce the next act. Before he did so, the US comedian recalled a memorable occasion on which he’d spent time with Hawkins and his son.

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“November 2020, I had the honour of hosting Saturday Night Live with the musical guest, Foo Fighters,” he told Wembley Stadium. “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 your up’. And Taylor sang Queen, ‘Somebody To Love’. Now let me tell u something, I never get nervous to come on stage but Taylor killed that shit. 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.

Chappelle continued to say that he had asked the child if he skated because he was wearing skate shoes. “He said, ‘I don’t skateboard cos I don’t wanna hurt my arms’,” he said. “I said, ‘What the kind of fuck 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 rock star many nights but it was my first time seeing him be a dad, and what a cool fucking 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.”

The comedian explained that the group had later gone to New York jazz club The Blue Note and watched jazz musician Robert Glasper perform. “I listened to Taylor and his son the whole show talk about the drummer,” he said. “I remember Shane, Taylor’s son, say to his father as he was listening, ‘Dad you can’t do that shit’. I’d never heard someone talk to a rockstar that way. And Taylor Hawkins, as humble as is, said, ‘Son, those are real musicians’.

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“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 cos I saw you play for your father and I’m happy to see you and god bless you.”

Chappelle then introduced a group including Josh Homme, Nile Rodgers, and Jane’s Addiction’s Chris Chaney to perform a cover of David Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’. Watch the moment from around the -2.55.06 mark above now.

Taylor Hawkins
Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins CREDIT: Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The Taylor Hawkins tribute concert is available to livestream on MTV’s YouTube channel globally and Paramount+ in the US. A second tribute show will take place at Los Angeles’ Kia Forum on September 27.

Dave Grohl and his Foo Fighters bandmates opened the gig by paying tribute to Hawkins in an emotional speech. “For those of you who knew him personally, you know that no one else could make you smile, or laugh, or dance, or sing like he could,” the frontman said.

“And for those of you who admired him from afar, I’m sure you’ve all felt the same thing so, tonight, we’ve gathered with family and his closest friends, his musical heroes and greatest inspirations to bring you a gigantic fucking night for a gigantic fucking person.”

Hawkins, who drummed with Foo Fighters from 1997 alongside performing in bands like Chevy Metal and Taylor Hawkins And The Coattail Riders, died in March 2022. He was 50 years old.

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