Receiving an OBE at Windsor Castle on Wednesday, Queen drummer Roger Taylor dedicated the honour to the late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins.
The ceremony saw the Prince of Wales appoint 72-year-old Taylor as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his services to music.
Taylor described Hawkins as “sunshine in human form” and revealed how he had mentored his son Rufus, drummer with rock band The Darkness.
“We’re still so upset about [Taylor’s death] and completely devastated,” he said. “My whole family and his whole family were very close. He was, my wife called him, sunshine in human form. He was the most wonderful man and I can’t quite believe that I’m not going to see him again. He’s done a lot to help my son, who’s a great drummer, and he actually sort of mentored him. We’re going to miss him so much.”
Taylor described his career as one of rock’s most iconic drummers as “a nice job.”
The Queen drummer, who once turned down joining Genesis, doesn’t always have kind words to share. Last year he said comedian/actor Sacha Baron Cohen would have been “shit” if he had played Freddie Mercury in Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.
Cohen had been lined up to play Mercury when the film was first announced in 2010, but he pulled out of the part following disagreements with the surviving band members regarding how they would be portrayed. The role was eventually taken by Rami Malek, who went on to win an Oscar for his portrayal of Mercury.
“I think he would have been utter shit,” Taylor said of Cohen. “Sacha is pushy, if nothing else. He’s also six inches too tall. But I watched his last five films and came to the conclusion he’s not a very good actor. I might be wrong there. I thought he was an utterly brilliant subversive comedian, that’s what he’s great at. Anyway, I think Rami did a brilliant job in an almost impossible role.”
Paul McCartney joined the chorus of tributes to Hawkins, calling him a “true rock and roll hero.”
“Taylor’s sudden death came as a shock to me and the people who knew and loved him,” McCartney wrote on Twitter. “Not only was he a great drummer but his personality was big and shiny and will be sorely missed by all who were lucky to live and work alongside him. I was asked by the Foo Fighters to play on one of their tracks. It turned out that they wanted me to play drums! – on one of Taylor’s songs. This request came from a group with two amazing drummers!”
“It was an incredible session and cemented my relationship with Taylor and the guys,” McCartney continued. “Later they asked if I would induct them into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I sang with them on Get Back. Taylor provided a powerhouse drum part. I’ll never forget that night. All of which made it much more of a desperately sad shock to hear he had died. So thanks Taylor for sharing some glorious minutes with me. You were a true Rock and Roll hero and will always remain in my heart.”
Taylor’s sudden death came as a shock to me and the people who knew and loved him.
Not only was he a GREAT drummer but his personality was big and shiny and will be sorely missed by all who were lucky to live and work alongside him. pic.twitter.com/lxnEfSPKa2
— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) March 30, 2022