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Music

Brian May was surprised by Taylor Hawkins' love of Queen

Queen were one of the best outfits of their generation. Anthemic, dynamic and just a little bit kooky, when it comes to rock bands, you don’t get much more multi-faceted than Freddie Mercury, Brian May and Co. Arguably at the top of their game during the 1970s, the band released eight albums between 1973 and 1980, and over the course of the decade, they attracted legions of fans from across the world due to their incredible talent.

Each member brought something different to the fold, and together the quartet were the sum of their genius parts, giving us cuts ranging from ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ to ‘A Kind of Magic’. Whether it be Freddie Mercury’s unmistakable voice, Brian May’s overdriven guitar lines or John Deacon’s criminally overlooked basslines, there’s something for everyone in the extensive back catalogue of Queen.

Reflecting just how the universal appeal of Queen is the myriad of iconic musicians that they have influenced. The band can count a whole host of legends amongst their fans, including Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Slipknot, Rage Against the Machine, The Cult, The Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nine Inch Nails, to name just a handful. Another group that Queen have had a significant impact on is alternative rock legends Foo Fighters, with frontman Dave Grohl one of the most prominent Queen fans out there. 

Taylor Hawkins and his love affair with Queen

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However, it wasn’t just Grohl that Queen had a transformative effect on. Foo Fighters’ late drummer, Taylor Hawkins, was also a big fan of the English rockers and perhaps even surpassed Grohl in terms of his love for the band. This was something that the surviving Queen members were aware of, and Hawkins even featured on the track ‘Cyborg’ from Brian May’s 1998 solo album, Another World

Now, during a new interview with My Planet Rocks, May admitted that he was initially shocked to hear that Hawkins was such a great fan of Queen because he felt that the late drummer was much cooler than Queen. “The funny thing was, he turned out to be the greatest Queen fan in the world,” May explained. “That was always a shock to me because he seemed to be a lot cooler than we were.” 

May was also acutely aware of the fact that Hawkins was one of the main reasons why Queen managed to live on in the hearts of younger generations. He declared: “I think Taylor Hawkins single-handedly made Queen cool to a new generation. He knew everything about us… everything!”

Casting his mind back on a his earliest memory of Hawkins, May said: “At that point, he and (Foo Fighters guitarist) Pat Smear gave us an award at some ceremony – I can’t even remember what it was now – but it became obvious at that point really early on that they knew everything. They knew more about us than we knew! It’s always been a great thing.”

It’s a real tragedy that Taylor Hawkins passed away so prematurely. However, he left behind a brilliant back catalogue and a lifelong love of Queen which means that whenever we listen to cuts such as ‘Killer Queen’, we’re reminded of both his and Freddie Mercury’s genius.

Watch Taylor Hawkins sing ‘Somebody to Love’ below.

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