Opinions, Pop Culture

Influential Tunes: Connecting through the Foo Fighters

I will never forget when I found out Taylor Hawkins died.

I was with my parents watching TV when we each got a breaking news notification that he had died while on tour in South America. The silence in our house was deafening as we all sat in disbelief.

The Foo Fighters have been a presence in my home for as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories of playing music with my dad was learning how to sing “Everlong” so he could practice it before meeting up with the rest of his band at the time, Bad Monkey.

My father and I have been playing music together for many years and our bond has always relied on music.

A snap of my dad and I that hangs in my dorm room along with pictures of the rest of my family.
A snap of my dad and I that hangs in my dorm room along with pictures of the rest of my family. Photo credit: Kristina Agresta

Being the two musicians in our family, we speak a language that no one else understands. We get excited about time signatures, chord progressions, and finding the perfect tone in a way no one else does.

I had a hard time talking to my dad about my feelings when I was young, but I could connect with him through music. I commuted to high school and on our drives, my dad and I would take turns playing songs. On days when he could tell I needed to let off steam he would often play the Foo Fighters, especially “The Pretender.”

One day, my dad randomly put on “Best of You,” he didn’t know all the details at the time, but I was struggling with my mental health.

When I heard the lyrics, “Has someone taken your faith? It’s real, the pain you feel,” I felt so seen.

I never mentioned that day to my dad, but hearing that song ultimately helped me improve my mental health.

Foo just has a way of connecting me to my dad like no other band. There is one song in particular that never fails to make me emotional. “My Hero” is such a simple song with short and vague lyrics, yet it has had a profound impact on me.

Every time I hear “My Hero,” I think of my dad. I think of his utter joy when playing music with his friends, all the times he has helped me through a tough situation, and the look on his face after I sing.

His look of pride when watching me perform not only as his daughter but as a musician in my own right is something I will always feel honored to receive.

My dad and I performing the week after Hawkins died.
My dad and I performing the week after Hawkins died. Photo credit: Kristina Agresta

My dad has always been my biggest musical hero. I hold him in the same regard as Dave Grohl, and while he doesn’t like to admit it, he is truly one of the most talented people I have ever had the joy of watching perform.

I used to take playing music with him for granted, but being away at school has made me crave those times when we would sit and play songs for hours.

The Foo Fighters will always be a core part of how I connect with my dad. Taylor’s death reminded me that our time here is short and I need to cherish these moments of music with my hero, my dad.

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