Supergrass drummer Danny Goffey has paid fresh tribute to the “unstoppable” Taylor Hawkins while sharing some memories of touring with Foo Fighters.
Goffey spoke to NME as part of this week’s special Big Read cover feature, which offers an in-depth and behind-the-scenes look at this month’s star-studded Taylor Hawkins tribute concert in London.
Supergrass played a three-song set at the Wembley Stadium event, with the likes of Queen, Liam Gallagher, Them Crooked Vultures and Brian Johnson all performing ahead of a touching closing show from the Foos themselves.
“As a musician, [Hawkins] was sort of unstoppable,” Goffey told NME a few days before the concert. “His playing for three hours at breakneck speed was something to behold. It was almost superhuman.”
Looking back on the times Supergrass toured with the Foos, the drummer explained how Hawkins would “sit behind the drum kit shouting encouragement and laughing at my terrible dynamics and sloppy drumming”.
Goffey continued: “He told me, ‘Don’t ever lose that, because that’s who you are as a drummer.’”
The Supergrass drummer went on to describe Hawkins a “just a dude” who was “always smiling […], always encouraging and was always positive”.
“He was just a bright light,” he told NME. “Whenever we’d tour, he’d spend the whole time doing this terrible British accent. I remember being on the road with the Foos across America: every day off we had, he’d be calling up, telling us about something like a nearby theme park that had one of the biggest rollercoasters in America and saying we had to go.
“That was Taylor all over – he was just up for whatever was happening in the moment.”
Dave Grohl had asked Supergrass to participate in the London tribute concert just six weeks after Hawkins, 50, died in Bogotá, Colombia on March 25.
“We’ve always been a venue band really so any huge gig like this is a bit daunting,” Goffey told NME, acknowledging the scale of the Wembley show.
“Knowing Taylor, he’d just want us to just play really fast rock’n’roll songs, batter the hell out of the kit and enjoy it. I think that’s in the back of your mind when you do something like this. It shouldn’t be too much of a sad, depressing thing. Taylor wouldn’t really want that.”
- READ MORE: Taylor Hawkins, 1972 – 2022: Foo Fighters drummer who always stole the show
Goffey went on to talk about how Foo Fighters invited Supergrass out for dinner on the Monday ahead of the tribute gig, and revealed that he and the band ended up at Grohl and co’s hotel to have more drinks and play some music.
“It was a really lovely evening,” Goffey remembered. “We all knew why we were there but everyone was in good spirits. It established that this whole thing was a family affair to celebrate Taylor.”
Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes – who also performed a cover a cover of David Bowie‘s ‘Modern Love’ at the Wembley concert, alongside Nile Rodgers – recently said that he’ll “never forget” the special day honouring Hawkins.
“And what an amazing day for Taylor, what an incredible celebration for Taylor,” Coombes told Sky News.
Foo Fighters were joined by were joined by a revolving cast of guest drummers for their emotional hits-filled finale, including Travis Barker, Nandi Bushell and Hawkins’ 16-year-old son Shane.
The latest NME Big Read story also features chats with the likes of Mark Ronson and Kesha, as well as some fans who were in attendance at the huge gig.
A second tribute show will take place at Los Angeles’ Kia Forum on September 27.