Saturday, 14 November 2015

U.S. band Eagles of Death Metal was headliner at Paris concert hall under siege



A California rock band was the headliner at a Paris concert hall Friday where death and horror unfolded during coordinated terror attacks in the French capital.

Jesse "Boots Electric" Hughes, one half of the leading duo of the hard-rock group Eagles of Death Metal, is believed to have been in the Bataclan concert hall when terrorists stormed in.

Reports were sketchy on whether band members got out safely, but Hughes' brother, Ian Hughes, said on Facebook that his brother “is ok. I spoke to him about an hour ago. The band is ok, too. I hold out hope that as many people as possible make it out ok, as well. As the situation is still developing, I can not say much else.”

Ian Hughes reportedly told friends that Jesse and the band escaped out of the back of the theater and he is now in a Paris police station and that he and the band, and the group's tech crew, are safe. But there was no confirmation that the sound man, who works in the audience, also got out safe.

The guitarist in the band is Dave Catching, owner of Rancho de la Luna recording studio in Joshua Tree, who is also on tour with the group. He has not responded toDesert Sun social media requests for comment.

Red Lemons, another band that performed at the concert, also assured people via Facebook that the Red Lemons and Eagles of Death Metal members were fine.

"We are still currently trying to determine the safety and whereabouts of all our band and crew," a statement on the group's Facebook page read. "Our thoughts are with all of the people involved in this tragic situation."

The wife of Nashville drummer Julian Dono, who was performing with the group in Paris, said her husband was fine, The Washington Post was reporting. Dono's wife, Emily, said she was able to speak briefly with the drummer and he told her he was safe and that he loved her.

Julien Pearce, a reporter with the Europe 1 news organization, was at the Eagles of Death Metal performance at the Bataclan concert hall that came under attack Friday.

"I was inside the room when several gunmen came in," Pearce said. "Two or three individuals who weren't masked held Kalashnikov-type weapons and started shooting blindly into the crowd. It lasted about 10, 15 minutes. It was extremely violent. There was a panic. Everyone ran and people, including myself, were trampled."

The group grew out of Hughes' participation in Homme's "Desert Sessions" recordings at the Rancho de las Lunas studio in Joshua Tree, now operated by Catching.

Hughes, who plays the guitar, and Homme, who plays drums, are lifelong friends, according to a profile on the group by the . "He told me all pop music is just a jingle. That's the first lesson I was given."

Hughes had been in several desert bands, including Jesse's Girls, the blues-based Scary Time Ramblers, the Black List Heroes with Kyuss leader Brant Bjork and Mario Lalli Jr.'s bands, Sort of Quartet and Fatso Jetson.

ughes, born in South Carolina, is an Eagle Scout who participated in the Boys' State youth government program at Palm Desert High School.

He was editor of the College of the Desert community college newspaper, contributed stories to the Desert Sun and volunteered for the unsuccessful U.S.. Senate campaign of the late Sonny Bono, the musician-turned-politician who was a major influence on him.

"I want Eagles to be like Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus - they're dead, but you can still go see their circus," Hughes told the Times.

An NPR piece from this past September described Eagles of Death Metal as a group that has always "...shot first and asked questions later."

The group's most recent album, "Zipper Down," took seven years to make and was woven through with sexual innuendo, according to the NPR piece.

The group's lyrics are often sexually aggressive and have been the subject of criticism regarding how women are portrayed, according to The Guardian.

An Oct. 2 post from the group's Facebook page read, "Thanks to everyone who made the rollout and the creation of this album so much damn fun. Can't wait to play it live for every single one of you, all over the world."

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