Axl Rose wore a tribute shirt for late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins at Guns N’ Roses first 2022 show, as seen below.
At this point in time ‘Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace’ by the Foo Fighters had just released and it hit the airways heavily with album opener, ‘The Pretender’ being a huge hit. The album would feature a more laid-back Foo Fighters overall with a focal point of acoustic songs that would evolve into arena rock songs about halfway through the track. This album would end up being one of their best. In fact, it’s my favorite.
After 131 dates spread out across across 20 months, the Foo Fighters were ready to go home and take some time off, but not before one last show that would showcase just how big the band had catapulted to. As Dave Grohl would state: “Wembley f*****’ Stadium!”
A heartwarming moment to look back on, the late Taylor Hawkins was on vocals as the stage boomed with Led Zeppelin’s ‘Rock And Roll’, with Grohl bouncing around on his drum stool, clearly giddy with excitement. Dave Grohl then ran up and took the mic for ‘Ramble On’. This was a dream come true.
How did it happen though? According to Ross Halfin: “Dave decided that he was going to stay behind and drink the hotel bar dry. Halfway through the evening he turned round to me and said: ‘Look, I know that the answer is probably going to be no, but we really want to make our show at Wembley Stadium special. Would you ask Jimmy if he would consider joining us on stage? It doesn’t have to be a Foo Fighters or Zeppelin song, we could even play Train Kept A Rollin’ by The Yardbirds – anything!’”
At this point, Halfin was willing to try to work out something with the band, but he also was sure that nothing would actually happen.
Halfin continues: “So I asked Jimmy, fully expecting him to say no,” Halfin continued. “And he said: ‘Yeah, why not? But we’ll have to play something the audience know.’ I suggested Communication Breakdown, and Rock And Roll was his idea; Dave came up with Ramble On.”
After initially planning to perform on both nights it was decided that the Led Zeppelin pair would only appear on the second night, to make it more special. There was a full production rehearsal the night before the first show (“It went really well,” said Page. “The band are great, really tight, and Dave is such a nice guy.”), and then it was time for the first performance.
Page didn’t attend. Instead, he went to see his old friends The Pretty Things play at the 350-capacity 100 Club in London. But he was back at Wembley on Saturday night, joining his old friend John Paul Jones and The Foos onstage, giving Hawkins and Grohl the chance to live out the most joyful of rock’n’roll fantasies.