The Red Hot Chili Peppers honored the late Foo Fighters drummer, Taylor Hawkins, on Sunday during their headlining performance at the New Orleans Jazz Fest by giving a speech on the late drummer, which was given by Chili Peppers drummer, Chad Smith. The Red Hot Chili Peppers replaced Foo Fighters in the festival’s lineup after they pulled out due to Hawkins’ passing in March.
“We just found out about this two weeks ago, because Foo Fighters were supposed to play here tonight,” Smith said at the end of the Chili Peppers’ set. “We love Foo Fighters, and we love our brother Taylor Hawkins. This means a lot to us to be able to play for them.”
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Smith also acknowledged Hawkins’ wife, Allison, as well as the members of Foo Fighters who were in attendance. He then concluded his speech on Hawkins by encouraging the crowd to cheer “We love you, Taylor,” in unison.
In a pre-show interview with Billboard, Smith discussed the approach the Chili Peppers would take in their performance replacing Foo Fighters.
“We’re taking Alison, his wife, with us and it’s going to be a celebration,” Smith said. “That’s what she wants. She doesn’t want it to be anything other than, ‘Let’s celebrate music, let’s celebrate our friends, let’s celebrate Taylor. This is what he would want and he would be very happy that you guys are playing and he would want it be nothing but a positive experience.’ So we’re going to do all that and she’s going to be part of that and I’m very honored that we can do that with her. … We’re going to play our hearts out.”
The history between the two bands goes back over 20 years. Foo Fighters opened for The Red Hot Chili Peppers on their Californication tour in 1999.
The Chili Peppers’ Jazz Fest performance kicked off their 2022 world tour in support of their new album, Unlimited Love. The tour will feature appearances from A$AP Rocky, The Strokes, Beck, Haim, St. Vincent, Anderson.Paak & The Free Nationals, Thundercat, and King Princess.
Photo Credit: Boston Lynn Schulz