While they were forged by Grohl in 1994 as a one-man project in the wake of another famous tragedy involving a different bandmate, over time Foo Fighters evolved into an actual band that added up to something more than just a vehicle for their celebrity frontman. And Hawkins had a lot to do with that. The drummer in a band started by the most admired drummer of his generation, Hawkins quickly established a dynamic with Grohl that was both little brother and partner-in-crime.
Hawkins was, in a sense, the band identity for Foo Fighters, the person who made this one-time solo venture feel like a real gang. But more than that, Hawkins earned his share of the spotlight. If you have a handsome blonde who can still pull off drumming shirtless well into middle age, you put him where the audience can see and appreciate him. Anything less would be rock ‘n’ roll malpractice.
All of this prompts a delicate, uncomfortable question that only Grohl and his partners can answer. There is, of course, no rush to answer it. Grief is a long, hard road, and it will have to be traversed before this question can be pondered. It might take one month. Or one year. Or 10 years. But eventually, the following will have to be addressed: Can Foo Fighters continue as a band without Taylor Hawkins?