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Taylor Hawkins tribute gig ‘fitting and humbling’

Organisers of the star-studded Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert have hailed the event as a “fitting and humbling memorial” to the late Foo Fighters drummer.

The first of two charity concerts celebrating Hawkins’ life took place at a sold-out Wembley Stadium in London on Saturday (3 September).

The near six-hour, 50-song show, staged by SJM Concerts and Metropolis, featured the Texan’s Foo Fighters bandmates alongside a host of special guests including Paul McCartney, Brian May and Roger Taylor, Liam Gallagher, Brian Johnson, Nile Rodgers, Josh Homme, Chrissy Hynde, Stewart Copeland, Them Crooked Vultures, Lars Ulrich and Rush.

The concert’s emotional finale saw Grohl joined by Hawkins’ 16-year-old son Oliver Shane on drums for a rendition of My Hero, before the frontman wrapped up proceedings with a solo version of Everlong.

“It will live long in people’s memories and for all the right reasons”

Chris York, director of Foo Fighters’ longtime UK promoter SJM, tells IQ: “It was an incredible privilege for the whole team at SJM Concerts to be able to deliver this amazing tribute to Taylor Hawkins on behalf of the Hawkins Family and Foo Fighters.

“The vision and effort put in by all parties was there for all to see at what was a fitting and humbling memorial event. Working alongside the Foos team and seeing the level of professionalism they bring to every aspect was an honour as always. It will live long in people’s memories and for all the right reasons.”

Hawkins died aged 50 in March in Bogota, Colombia, where the band had been due to headline Festival Estereo Picnic, sparking an outpouring of tributes.

A second tribute show is set to be held on 27 September at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles, with ticket and merchandise sales from the concerts to benefit charities chosen by the Hawkins family: London-based Music Support and New York-based MusiCares.

“We were deeply honoured to have been the sole UK charity involved in such a prestigious event”

The brainchild of production manager Andy Franks, Music Support was launched in 2016 to provide specialist care for music industry executives, artists, crew and technicians.

“I’ve known the Foo Fighters’ agent and tour manager for a long time and when they were looking for charities to be involved, they fortunately decided that we were interesting because we work with people across the whole music business – not just artists – so I think they felt that was a good fit,” explains Franks.

“We were deeply honoured to have been the sole UK charity involved in such a prestigious event. It’s just incredible that in the six short years since we started, we get that kind of recognition.”

The 80,000-cap Wembley gig was streamed live and on demand around the world, with Franks tuning in from Denver, Colorado in the US.

“I was fortunate enough to have met Taylor a few times and, as Dave Grohl said, it was more a case of who not to invite [to perform] rather than who to invite, because he was such a well-liked guy,” adds Franks. “To do a tribute like that in a stadium is amazing and a heck of a send-off. It was a very, very moving event for everyone – us included.”


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