By: Ryan Fitzgerald
When I think of musicians who have inspired me the most throughout my life, the two that immediately come to mind are Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins - Grohl, the front man and main songwriter of Foo Fighters, and Hawkins, the band's drummer for 25 years.
I started playing drums when I was five, and while this was before I knew about Foo Fighters, I wanted to continue playing after watching countless live performances of Hawkins playing live, just as countless other musicians around the world were inspired in the same way.
On the late night of March 25, I was scrolling through Instagram and saw that Foo Fighters had just posted an image that was simply a black background and white text. “The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss…”, the post began. My immediate thought was that one of their crew members, musician friends, or band’s family members had passed away. I kept reading. “...of our beloved Taylor Hawkins.” I froze. I had to go back and read the sentence again 5 times. When I could finally comprehend what was going on, I went to the internet to see that it was in fact true, that Taylor Hawkins had passed away.
Never would I have guessed that the death of someone I had never met would have had such an impact on me as Taylor's death. Someone who has contributed significantly to why I become a musician and why I listen to the music that I do. I soon discovered that hundreds of thousands of other people were in the exact same scenario as me.
The outpouring of support for the band members on social media was a testament to the personal impact that one's contributions to the music industry can have.
It is unreasonable to believe that simply because you didn’t personally know someone who passed away, that means that you cannot be heavily impacted. While the majority of those who were influenced by Taylor Hawkins were not in his life personally at the time of his death, he was still there in ours. His passing should serve as a reminder for us all of the impact that music can have on people. While music can bring us much-needed joy, it can also be taken away from us when the people who made it possible pass away.