The Foo Fighters drummer passed away last Friday (March 25) at the age of 50 in Bogotá, Colombia while the band were on their South American tour.
Speaking on The Howard Stern Show this week, Kelly recalled meeting Hawkins in Paraguay, where they due to play at the same festival together before bad weather conditions forced the cancellation of the event, two days before the drummer’s death.
“It sucked because that day was the day the Foo Fighters were playing with us on the same stage,” Kelly said. “I had texted Dave [Grohl] and he was like, ’Yes, I’m gonna come watch the show’. They had never seen the show and that was the day where it was like, ‘Oh my God the Foo Fighters are gonna come watch our show!’
“We were so excited, man. [But] the rain came and I saw lightning start to happen,” Kelly added, which forced the cancellation of his show. “So I’m texting Dave and we’re super-bummed, and he’s like, ‘Come over to the hotel, we’re going to shut the rooftop down and we’ll have some drinks.’”
Kelly continued: “We got out of the elevator, all 20 of [his entourage], and Taylor, Dave, the whole Foo Fighters team… but specifically Taylor, he went up to every single one of us and gave us each our moment. Like, every single one of us, man, down to my assistant – they’re relating over, ‘Oh you’re from Topanga? I’m from Topanga!’ It was like, dude, he’s such a beautiful soul, man.”
Kelly said that, during the night, Hawkins “stopped at every single person and gave his heart”, and that when they left the hotel “the kids in us came out: ‘This is the greatest night of our life! These legends…’”
“And the last thing [Hawkins] said to [Kelly’s drummer] was: ‘I’m just so bummed I didn’t get to see you guys play’.”
Kelly then shared a message to Hawkins’ children. “I really want to thank him and let his kids know that he made us feel — in a time where the outside world, outside of the fans, was really coming in hard on us — he made us feel so confident in ourselves and loved.
“Your father is a great, great man and we were all lucky to know him, and we all appreciate that night more than anyone will know. That was a dream for us.”
The likes of Paul McCartney, Elton John, Joan Jett, Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, Liam Gallagher, Slash and Stevie Nicks have all paid tribute to Hawkins’ life and career since the news of his death was confirmed.
The Grammys will also pay tribute to the Hawkins during their 2022 ceremony on Sunday (April 3).
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