Paul McCartney and Chrissie Hynde took the stage during the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert in London, joining Foo Fighters during their closing set to perform two Beatles classics.
Dave Grohl was coy, first introducing Hynde, “who I happen to think is the baddest motherfucker in the world. But she brought a friend with her tonight. So would everybody please welcome Miss Chrissie Hynde — and our good friend, Mr. Paul McCartney. Please give them some love!”
There was a momentary delay for the pair as they waited for drummer Omar Hakim to materialize. “We could do it without a drummer,” McCartney joked. “I don’t know, I guess he’s at the pub.”
Hakim took his place shortly after that, and the band launched into the Beatles’ “Oh! Darling,” from 1969’s Abbey Road. McCartney quipped that it was a song he’d recorded “a hundred years ago” but had never done as a duet.
Hynde then left the stage, and McCartney dug down deep to deliver a characterically shredding vocal on “Helter Skelter,” with Grohl tossing in the occasional vocal line as the rest of the Foos blazed through the Beatles classic.
Although McCartney was not announced as one of the event’s performers, rumors of his involvement began spreading online Friday when a Foo Fighters fan account uploaded video from outside Wembley Stadium. Rehearsal of “Helter Skelter” could be easily heard in the background.
That McCartney would be involved with the event is not surprising. The Beatle has become good friends with Foo Fighters over the years, collaborating with the band on various occasions.
McCartney and Grohl became friends after the Foo Fighters frontman attended 2002’s Concert for George. “I don’t know what it feels like to see a UFO. I don’t know what it feels like to see a ghost. I don’t know what it feels like to see Bigfoot, but I know what it feels like to see Paul McCartney, and if that’s not a supernatural event, then I don’t know what is,” Grohl once reflected of that night.
McCartney also appeared in the 2012 documentary Sound City and contributed to its soundtrack. The song “Cut Me Some Slack” — which Macca recorded alongside surviving Nirvana members Grohl and Krist Novoselic in a group dubbed Sirvana — won a Grammy for Best Rock Song.
In 2017, McCartney replaced Hawkins in the studio for one song, recording drums on Foo Fighters’ “Sunday Rain.” “He hadn’t even heard the song,” Hawkins once recalled of the session. “He comes in and Dave picked up and acoustic [guitar] and showed him real quick. He sat on his special drum set that his tech set up for him. I sat there with a drumstick conducting. He did two takes.”
McCartney inducted Foo Fighters into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2021, joining the band to rock through “Get Back” as the night’s festivities came to a close.
When Hawkins died in March, the former Beatle penned a heartfelt tribute to the drummer, recounting their times together.
“Taylor’s sudden death came as a shock to me and the people who knew and loved him,” McCartney wrote. “Not only was he a GREAT drummer but his personality was big and shiny and will be sorely missed by all who were lucky to live and work alongside him.
“I was asked by the Foo Fighters to play on one of their tracks. It turned out that they wanted me to play drums! — on one of Taylor’s songs. This request came from a group with TWO amazing drummers! It was an incredible session and cemented my relationship with Taylor and the guys. Later they asked if I would induct them into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I sang with them on ‘Get Back’. Taylor provided a powerhouse drum part. I’ll never forget that night.
“All of which made it much more of a desperately sad shock to hear he had died. So thanks Taylor for sharing some glorious minutes with me. You were a true Rock and Roll hero and will always remain in my heart.”
Foo Fighters Albums Ranked
From the one-man-band debut to their sprawling, chart-topping classics, a look at the studio releases by Dave Grohl and band.