Matt Cameron is calling out Rolling Stone after the magazine published a cover story on the final days of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, who died at age 50 back in March.
According to RS, Hawkins had been feeling exhausted by a relentless touring schedule and the pressure to perform with the power and intensity of his youth.
At the crux of the article are some quotes from Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron, a longtime friend who spoke to RS for the story, and recalled that Hawkins “had a heart-to-heart with [Foo Fighters leader Dave] Grohl and, yeah, he told me that he ‘couldn’t f***ing do it anymore’ — those were his words.”
More detail on that discussion was provided by an anonymous source, with Cameron adding that Hawkins “tried to keep up. He just did whatever it took to keep up, and in the end he couldn’t keep up.”
Meanwhile, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, who was also close to Hawkins, recounted how Hawkins lost consciousness aboard a flight on December 2021.
“He just said he was exhausted and collapsed, and they had to pump him full of IVs and stuff. He was dehydrated and all kinds of stuff,” Smith told RS.
That, Smith told the magazine, was “one of the straws that broke the camel’s back,” recalling Hawkins telling him, “I can’t do it like this anymore.” Smith also revealed that Hawkins had been “getting into lifting weights and drinking these electrolytes and was really trying to do things to help play at the level that he wanted to play at,” noting that Hawkins once told him, “Man, I hurt. My body hurts.”
Following publication of the issue, both Cameron and Smith have come forward to dispute the story’s narrative.
Cameron posted a statement on Instagram insisting that his words were taken out of context.
“When I agreed to take part in the Rolling Stone article, I assumed it would be a celebration of his life and work,” Cameron wrote. “My quotes were taken out of context and shaped into a narrative I had never intended. … I am truly sorry to have taken part in this interview and I apologize that my participation may have caused harm to those for whom I have only the deepest respect and admiration.”
Smith expressed similar regret for speaking to RS for what he expected would be a tribute, not an exposé.
“Taylor was one of my best friends and I would do anything for his family,” Smith told Yahoo! Entertainment. “I was asked by Rolling Stone to talk about Taylor for a tribute article and I certainly didn’t expect it to be a piece about his last days. Had I known that, I never would have talked to the magazine, and I apologize for any pain my participation in the article may have caused his family and his musical friends. I miss him every day.”