Foo Fighters publicist reflects on "delicate procedure" of announcing Taylor Hawkins' death: "It was really rough"

20 December 2022, 14:39

Taylor Hawkins sadly passed away in 2022
Taylor Hawkins sadly passed away earlier this year. Picture: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for DIRECTV

By Jenny Mensah

Foos publicist Steve Martin has looked back on having to deliver the devastating news to the world and praised the late drummer for how he would brighten up his friend's days.

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Foo Fighters publicist Steve Martin has looked back on the time he had to announce the death of Taylor Hawkins and revealed "it was really rough".

The publicist - who founded Nasty Little Man in 1992 has worked with the likes of Gorillaz, Nirvana, Metallica and David Bowie over the years - and has been responsible for announcing a three celebrity deaths, but says Hawkins was the most challenging.

"It was really rough, he told Variety. " I’m very pragmatic about who amongst the clients becomes an actual friend, but Taylor was one.

"If the band didn’t work for four or five weeks and we didn’t have any contact, he’d call me just to say ‘What’s up?’

"He did that with a lot of people he considered friends, which I didn’t really learn until after he died. He had so much energy and positivity to share."

Steve pointed out that despite the Learn To Fly rocker's commitments in both his work and home life, he still found time for his friends.

He added: "He didn’t have to do that: he played drums full-time in one of the biggest bands in the world, had all his side projects and session work, and was helping to raise three kids.

“He somehow found the time to brighten so many people’s days with these morning calls about a U2 b-side or something.”

READ MORE: Taylor Hawkins secret acts of kindness revealed

Steve also had the unenviable task of also announcing the passing of Beastie Boys' Adam Yaunch and David Bowie in 2012 and 2016 respectively.

Talking about how he managed it, he said: "It’s hard to say. Unfortunately, in the last 10 years, I’ve had to write confirmations of an artist’s passing three times."

He added: "The first step is getting the right tone when you’re writing that statement. I don’t know how I do it, because it has always been done in a state of shock. It’s a blessing and a curse that I’ve seemed to get it right in all three of those situations."

On the situation with the Foos' drummer specifically, he said: "With Taylor, it was more sensitive, because there were a lot of details coming out from the Colombian media. There was a lot of second-hand talk in another magazine story, with people relaying things Taylor might have actually said but should have been left to friends talking amongst friends. Managing that, and trying to make it cause as little pain as possible, was a really delicate procedure."

READ MORE: Who is Foo Fighters' My Hero about?

Miley Cyrus adds credence to the publicist's praise of Taylor Hawkins as someone who checked in on his friends, as she revealed a voicemail sent to her by the drummer.

The singer-songwriter was one of the artists to perform at the Taylor Hawkins tribute concert at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles on Tuesday 27th September, where she sang Def Leppard's Photograph.

Taking to Twitter to share the reason for her song choice, the Wrecking Ball star posted an audio clip which featured a personal message from the drummer himself encouraging her to learn the song.

In the message, Taylor can be heard saying: "What up Miley? It's Taylor. I heard you're moving. Where? I'm listening to Photograph by Def Leppard. You could kill that one. Make Chaney learn that."

Cyrus captioned the message: "A personal request from the legend himself. #TaylorHawkins 📷 my friend, my idol…. My neighbor. Growing up on a farm I never could see the light of another house nearby, but living by Taylor for the years that I did out in LA were some of the most fun times of my life."

Miley Cyrus wrote in another tweet: "I miss Taylor so much like everybody else. It was such an honor to celebrate him last night and perform w@DefLeppard So lucky to have known him not just as a superstar but to have spent time watching him just be a dad and a husband!"

Sharing a clip of her performance, she added: "Last night was the most special way to remember the MOST special person!@foofighters forever "

READ MORE: Travis Barker gets hawk tattoo in honour of Taylor Hawkins