That Time Taylor Hawkins Almost Joined Guns N’ Roses

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Long before the Guns N’ Roses reunion, the World’s Most Dangerous Band started to look more and more like the Axl Rose and Friends show.

From Buckethead having a stint in the band to rumors of getting Zakk Wylde into the fold after the tour for Use Your Illusion, most of the musicians understood they were coming on as a hired hand to just fuel Axl Rose’s glorified solo act. There was a bunch of talent to come through those ranks though, and there was a slim chance that GNR could have gotten a Foo Fighter out of the whole deal.

When talking well after the fact, the late Taylor Hawkins mentioned that he had actually been in consideration to play drums in Guns N Roses once upon a time, saying in an interview with Louder Sound:

Axl was trying to get together a new version of Guns N’ Roses, and I think he was checking around for people. They wanted to know if I would come in and try out or whatever. It was kind of otherworldly.”

Being in one of the most iconic bands in rock would have been a hard chance to pass up, but by this point Taylor had already spent enough time with the Foo Fighters to feel at home, and his final decision ended up coming down to another rock icon.

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When talking it over with Queen’s Roger Taylor, Roger was the one who convinced Taylor to stay, with Hawkins going on to say:

“He said, ‘I see you and Dave  [Grohl] onstage and there’s something you can’t buy there. There’s something between you guys that might not be there with Axl Rose.’ And he was right.”

Granted, Taylor wasn’t one to take his opportunity with the Foo Fighters lightly, always talking about how lucky he was to be playing with Dave, comparing Grohl to a blood brother saying:

“For all our trials and tribulations, Dave is like a brother. When we walk out on stage, every time we nod and look at each other and go, ‘Alright, here we go.’ We’re getting in the ring together.”

Compared to the number of checks he would have gotten with Guns, Taylor and Dave’s brotherly relationship was something that you can’t fake in this industry, and no matter what the Foos decide to do following his passing, his loss is going to significantly impact where the band’s going to go next. 

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