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Taylor Hawkins: One Week After His Death, What Is Known And What Are The Questions That Remain?

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins reportedly died of an overdose of heroin, antidepressants, and opioids .

Taylor Hawkins

Photo: TW-taylorhawkins

LatinAmerican Post | Vanesa López Romero

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Leer en español: Taylor Hawkins: A una semana de su muerte, ¿qué se sabe y cuáles son las preguntas que quedan?

Last Friday, March 26, fans of the legendary rock band Foo Fighters mourned the loss of their drummer, Taylor Hawkins. That same day, at 11 pm, the band was supposed to perform at the Estereo Picnic Festival, in Bogotá, Colombia. However, around 10 pm, the Festival announced that the band would no longer perform due to "a very serious medical situation." A few moments later, on the Foo Fighters' social media, drummer Taylor Hawkins was confirmed to have passed away. Also, on January 29, the band announced the cancellation of the concerts of their next tour and made known the deep pain of their loss.

How Did The Events Happen?

Hawkins, 50, was found Friday afternoon at the hotel where he was staying north of Bogotá, where later, and over the next few days, he was honored by his supporters through meetings with those who posted photos, brought him flowers, and sang some of the rock group's most memorable songs. For its part, Black Pumas, one of the groups that also performed that Friday at the Festival, dedicated their concert to Hawkins and asked for a minute of silence to say goodbye to the vocalist.

What Do The Reports Say?

On Saturday, the Colombian Prosecutor's Office reported that Hawkins' urine analysis found around 10 substances, including marijuana, opioids, tricyclic antidepressants, and benzodiazepines. As a result, the drummer would have died from an overdose. However, the magazine Semana narrates that the forensic doctors were surprised because Hawkins' heart weighed 600 grams, twice the weight of a heart of a person with the physiological characteristics of a drummer. Doctors reported that this may be due to a pre-existing condition or maybe "a consequence of psychoactive substance abuse."

According to the preliminary report of the prosecution “Taking into account that no signs of violence are observed, a preliminary overdose is proposed as a hypothesis of death; awaiting scientific-technical opinion”. This investigation will continue to be carried out in Bogotá, despite the fact that Hawkins' body will be repatriated to the United States since that was the place of the events surrounding his death.

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The Questions Behind 

It is not surprising that when the preliminary report with the hypothesis of death by overdose was published, many people resorted to talking about Colombia's bad reputation with drugs. But it must be taken into account that, first, it is not known whether the substances that Hawkins consumed were purchased in Colombia or not. With these facts and these types of comments, the stigmatization of a country that has lived through the violence of drug trafficking falls once again.

On the other hand, Hawkins did not hide his addiction problems, and it is well known that in 2001 he had an overdose for which he was in a coma. In that order of ideas, the comments that have been made about the drummer's death are subject to the characterization of a type of artist, one who usually consumes substances and who puts that above his life. However, we must remember that we are talking about a person, a human being and that addiction, beyond being a decision, is a disease.

With these kinds of facts, it falls back into a prohibitionist and punishing discourse, which contributes absolutely nothing to the problem of drug use by both celebrities and ordinary people. Stigmatization has been the path that has been chosen and this has not given a positive result, on the contrary, it has limited the possibilities for those who suffer from addiction and endangers those who choose to consume due to a lack of tools and education.