There’s a particularly haunting moment in one of Taylor Hawkins’ final filmed interviews before his shocking death earlier this year.
It takes place as the late Foo Fighters drummer shows you around his “hang room” during a segment in the new rockumentary “Let There Be Drums!” premiering Friday.
On the wall are custom drum heads picturing Jane’s Addiction’s Perry Farrell, Pearl Jam’s Matt Cameron — “one of my drum heroes” — and the late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell.
“There’s Chris Cornell — rest his soul,” says Hawkins in a sadly eerie remembrance of the rocker who committed suicide in 2017. Five years later, Hawkins himself would be gone too soon, dying last March from an overdose at 50.
The film, which will be released in theaters, and will also stream on Apple TV and Amazon Prime, focuses on the importance of drumming to rock and roll, and features interviews with icons like Ringo Starr, Stewart Copeland of the Police and Hawkins, who reveals the special gratitude he had for the Grateful Dead. The skinsman recounts how seeing the Dead in concert changed his life.
“At first I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ … Everyone’s throwing energy and, you know, passing each other doobies and s–t,” Hawkins recalled. “And I’m like, ‘Oh, OK, they don’t know how they’re gonna start this song.’ They just do this, like, improvisational jazz thing. And that got me good … I loved the chances they were taking the whole time.”
Indeed, the free-form jamming of Jerry Garcia and company had an immediate impact on Hawkins as a drummer.
“Three days after that show, I had to go to Europe to do a two week tour with the Foo Fighters,” he says. “And I just started, like, taking a lot more chances. I had some of the best shows I’ve had in a long time, if not ever. I kept saying to Dave — our singer and our fearless leader Dave Grohl — I just kept going, ‘F—king Dead show, man. I’m telling you, dude.’ It took me to new heights.”
In “Let There Be Drums!” — directed by Justin Kreutzmann, son of Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann, featured in the film — Hawkins also shares how he found his musical calling playing the instrument.
“I wasn’t shining at anything, and the second I sat on the drums, it was like a bolt of lightning through my body. And I’ll never forget that day,” he says. “And never from that second on did I not say this is what I’m gonna do.”
This story originally appeared on NY Post