John told the Des Moines crowd of his fondness for Hawkins, as a musician and an individual. “He was one of the nicest people you could ever meet and one of the greatest drummers – and a true musician who loved all sorts of music and loved life,” said John. “And it seems so sad that at 50 years of age we’ve lost someone who had that much passion.
“It makes me so downhearted for his family, his three children, his wife, his other relatives. And of course the Foo Fighters have lost a dearest loved one who can never ever be replaced, but his music will live on. But I can tell you he was a great, great guy. So this song is for him and his family and his wife and his children.”
John then performed ‘Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me’, the lead single from his 1974 album, Caribou. The popularity of ‘Don’t Le the Sun Go Down On Me’ was boosted after John performed it as a duet with George Michael at Live Aid in 1985. Michael then frequently performed the song on his 1991 Cover to Cover tour, after which the Live Aid recording was officially released as a single.
The live duet eclipsed the popularity of John’s original, making it to #1 in the UK and US and going Platinum in Australia. See John’s tribute to Hawkins below.