The special gig is being held in honour of the late drummer, with appearances from 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.
In a video message between performances, Smith shared a heartwarming story about his friend’s generous nature. “I’d love to tell a story of one of Taylor and I’s many escapades, but those probably wouldn’t be appropriate for this,” he said. “So I wanna tell you one that warms my heart.
“The 606 studio those guys have, the Foo Fighters – around the corner is a music store called Guitar Centre. I think Dave [Grohl] and Taylor used to go in there all the time and see what’s going on and maybe get some stuff. Taylor would always bomb back to the drum room – the percussion section – and if there were little kids in there, wannabe drummers trying out stuff, he’d be in there and of course they’d be excited, like, ‘Oh my god, Taylor Hawkins is here, this is so cool’.”
Smith continued to explain that Hawkins would take the time to talk to the aspiring musicians in the store and give them advice. “One day, the manager came to the guy that ran the percussion section and said, ‘You know, I think something’s going on with TH’s credit card – there must be some fraud or something because I see thousands of dollars over months of charges and I’ve never seen Taylor buy anything ever here,” he said.
“The guy that worked the counter in the percussion section said, ‘No, they’re not fraud. Taylor would actually buy drum equipment, drum sets, sticks, cymbals, whatever was needed for any of the kids that he was hanging out with.
“He knew how important it was to have good stuff and he would just buy it for them and never tell anybody and wouldn’t tell the store. The kids would walk out with the stuff and that’s the kind of guy that Taylor Hawkins is and I love him and I miss him every day. I know he’s really happy about this right now so I love you guys.” Watch Smith’s speech around the -1.57.10 mark above now.
The story is the latest tribute from Smith, who dedicated Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Global Icon award at this year’s MTV VMAs to Hawkins last weekend (August 28). “There’s another musical icon, global icon, and his name is my brother Taylor Hawkins,” he said on stage at the awards show. “I want to dedicate this to Taylor and his family and I miss him every day and fly on Hawk, fly on brother.”
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.
Grohl and Hawkins’ Foo Fighter bandmates opened the concert today with an emotional speech that paid tribute to their late drummer. “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.”
Comedian Dave Chappelle also recalled spending time with the rock star and his son in New York. “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,” he said. “Taylor Hawkins is a legend of a man, he’s a legend of a musician and he’s a legend of a father.”
Liam Gallagher kicked off the live music today, performing two Oasis songs with the help of the surviving members of Foo Fighters.