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How Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins narrowly avoided arrest in Australia back in 2000


The Foo Fighters’ longtime, charismatic drummer, Taylor Hawkins, died at the age of 50 ahead of a festival the band were due to play at on Friday night. 

And one of the late iconic rocker’s most memorable moments was when he avoided arrest on the Gold Coast in Australia back in 2000 for driving under the influence. 

Resurfaced footage from a 2015 interview with ABC’s 7.30 saw Hawkins explaining how frontman Dave Grohl ended up in a jail after failing a police sobriety checkpoint.

Iconic moment: How Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins narrowly avoided arrest on the Gold Coast in Australia back in 2000 while frontman Dave Grohl was taken to jail. Hawkins (left) and Grohl (right) are pictured in January 2014

Iconic moment: How Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins narrowly avoided arrest on the Gold Coast in Australia back in 2000 while frontman Dave Grohl was taken to jail. Hawkins (left) and Grohl (right) are pictured in January 2014

The band was performing at the 2000 Big Day Out festival on the Gold Coast when Hawkins and Grohl, 53, decided to rent a moped to do some sightseeing.  

While riding the scooter back to their hotel, Grohl was pulled over at an RBT checkpoint, and blew a blood alcohol level of 0.95.  

In Australia, it is an offence to drive or operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol of over 0.05. 

Grohl returned to the Gold Coast to face court during the band’s Australian tour – he was convicted and given a $400 fine. Meanwhile, Hawkins got off scot-free. 

Tragic: The Foo Fighters' longtime, charismatic drummer, Hawkins, died at the age of 50 ahead of a festival the band were due to play at on Friday night. Pictured L to R in November: Pat Smear, Rami Jaffee, Chris Shiflett, Hawkins, Dave Grohl and Nate Mendel

Tragic: The Foo Fighters’ longtime, charismatic drummer, Hawkins, died at the age of 50 ahead of a festival the band were due to play at on Friday night. Pictured L to R in November: Pat Smear, Rami Jaffee, Chris Shiflett, Hawkins, Dave Grohl and Nate Mendel 

‘Me and him got mopeds down on the Gold Coast like everybody does, goes around, it was great fun, so we spent a couple of days down there before the show,’ Hawkins recalled to ABC’s 7.30.

‘Show day comes, it’s a beautiful day. We took the scooters – I think [Grohl] even rode it up on stage like you were in Judas Priest for the first song. So afterwards we stayed, we hung, we partied, Dave was over-served, it was a very irresponsible barman backstage who over-served Dave.

‘And then me and Dave were riding home on our scooters, and I wasn’t hammered actually. I had a bag of weed in my pocket, but he was hammered. And we both got stopped in one of those f**king police sobriety checkpoints – I passed, Dave failed.’   

Hawkins was found dead in a hotel room in the north of Bogota, Colombia where the band were due to play at a festival on Friday night. No cause of death was immediately announced.  

Incident: Resurfaced footage from a 2015 interview with ABC's 7.30 saw Hawkins (centre) explaining how frontman Grohl ended up in a jail after failing a police sobriety checkpoint. The band was performing at the 2000 Big Day Out festival on the Gold Coast when Hawkins and Grohl, 53, decided to rent a moped to do some sightseeing

Incident: Resurfaced footage from a 2015 interview with ABC’s 7.30 saw Hawkins (centre) explaining how frontman Grohl ended up in a jail after failing a police sobriety checkpoint. The band was performing at the 2000 Big Day Out festival on the Gold Coast when Hawkins and Grohl, 53, decided to rent a moped to do some sightseeing

The group had been scheduled to play at the Festival Estéreo Picnic in the Colombian capital where an announcement told concert-goers that the band would not be playing due to a ‘serious medical condition’. 

Hawkins, who was married to his wife Alison, and a father to two teenage children, Oliver and Annabelle, had just completed a host of tour dates in South America with the band last playing in San Isidro, Argentina, last Sunday. 

Hawkins joined the band in 1997 after the group completed their second album, The Colour and the Shape. 

Prior to being Foo Fighters, Hawkins played drums for Alanis Morissette from whom he was recruited by frontman Dave Grohl – Nirvana’s own legendary drummer.

Lucky break: 'Me and Dave were riding home on our scooters, and I wasn't hammered actually. I had a bag of weed in my pocket, but he was hammered,' Hawkins recalled. 'And we both got stopped in one of those f**king police sobriety checkpoints ¿ I passed, Dave failed'

Lucky break: ‘Me and Dave were riding home on our scooters, and I wasn’t hammered actually. I had a bag of weed in my pocket, but he was hammered,’ Hawkins recalled. ‘And we both got stopped in one of those f**king police sobriety checkpoints – I passed, Dave failed’ 

Grohl formed his second band Foo Fighters in 1994 in the wake of an earlier tragedy, just months after Kurt Cobain, Nirvana’s frontman, took his own life.

After Cobain’s suicide in April, Grohl retreated and was unsure if he wanted to stay in the music industry but created Foo Fighters in October that year after penning a 15-track demo and signing with Capitol records.

When Hawkins came aboard in 1997, the Foo Fighters’ moved from the alternative rock scene to achieve mainstream success, regularly packing out arenas and stadiums. 

Convicted: While riding the scooter back to their hotel, Grohl was pulled over at an RBT checkpoint, and blew a blood alcohol level of 0.95. Grohl returned to the Gold Coast to face court during the band's Australian tour - he was convicted and given a $400 fine. Pictured in February

Convicted: While riding the scooter back to their hotel, Grohl was pulled over at an RBT checkpoint, and blew a blood alcohol level of 0.95. Grohl returned to the Gold Coast to face court during the band’s Australian tour – he was convicted and given a $400 fine. Pictured in February

Shock death: Hawkins was found dead in a hotel room in the north of Bogota, Colombia where the band were due to play at a festival on Friday night. No cause of death was immediately announced. Pictured in October

Shock death: Hawkins was found dead in a hotel room in the north of Bogota, Colombia where the band were due to play at a festival on Friday night. No cause of death was immediately announced. Pictured in October 

An imaginative and rock-solid drummer, he had the seemingly thankless task of playing drums behind Foos singer-guitarist Dave Grohl, who is one of the greatest drummers in rock history. 

Hawkins filled that role with aplomb, bringing his own hard-hitting, time-juggling style to the band’s straight-ahead rock sound without trying to emulate Grohl. 

He was also a strong singer and frequently took the mic during the band’s concerts and on B-sides, often on cover versions (such as a 2008 team-up with Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, when Grohl went behind the drum kit at Hawkins took the mic). 

He also cowrote many of the band’s songs. 

Rocking out: Grohl and Hawkins are pictured performing during day one of Lollapalooza Chile 2022 at Parque Bicentenario Cerrillos on March 18 in Santiago, Chile. This is believed to be one of the last publicly known photos of him performing

Rocking out: Grohl and Hawkins are pictured performing during day one of Lollapalooza Chile 2022 at Parque Bicentenario Cerrillos on March 18 in Santiago, Chile. This is believed to be one of the last publicly known photos of him performing

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