Killing fields in Paris as Eagles of Death Metal play

18 Nov, 2015 - 00:11 0 Views
Killing fields in Paris as Eagles of Death Metal play Dave Catching, Josh Homme, Jesse Hughes and Joe Grimshaw of Eagles of Death Metal perform on stage at KOKO on June 17 2015 in London. - Getty Images

The Herald

Dave Catching, Josh Homme, Jesse Hughes and Joe Grimshaw of Eagles of Death Metal perform on stage at KOKO on June 17 2015 in London. - Getty Images

Dave Catching, Josh Homme, Jesse Hughes and Joe Grimshaw of Eagles of Death Metal perform on stage at KOKO on June 17 2015 in London. – Getty Images

Tendai Hildegarde Manzvanzvike Foreign Editor
THE past few weeks have seen an escalation of terrorist activities committed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and its affiliates. On Friday the 13th last week, the French capital turned into a bloodbath as well planned terrorist attacks claimed the lives of 129 people, and injured about 350, with dozens reportedly in critical condition.

French President Francois Hollande announced on Monday that the victims were from 19 nationalities. France has declared total war on ISIS, so too did Russian President Vladmir Putin, who on Tuesday promised to find the terrorists who downed a Russian passenger plane in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on October 31, killing all 224 people on board.

“It is not the first time Russia faces the barbaric terrorist crimes, which often come without any visible reasons, internal or external, as it was with a terrorist act in Volgograd back in 2013. We did forget nothing and no one,” President Putin said in a statement.

But Friday’s events are a toxic mix. We have on one side the foreign policies, the media, the victims and villains; and on the other religion and its role in this war on terrorism. One of the places hit by the terrorists was the Bataclan theatre in Paris where United States of America heavy metal rock band Eagles of Death Metal was holding a sold out concert.

Remember that this was Friday the 13th or Black Friday. Dozens of music lovers were killed after the siege, with hundreds more being taken hostage, while some managed to flee, including the Eagles of Death Metal band members.

The only person reportedly killed was a Briton responsible for selling the band’s merchandise. How did the members survive and escape since the terrorists attacked while they were playing?

Was this an ominous Friday for Paris and the band’s audience in particular? For marketing purposes, people in the entertainment industry give themselves weird names, but this branding can be interpreted in many ways, especially after such a horrific incident.

The same with this California-based rock band, Eagles of Death Metal, which was formed in 1998. This was the first time the writer heard about it, just like Charlie Hebdo after the terrorist attack in Paris again on January 7 this year. The band’s name was too weird to ignore, considering what had happened while they were in the line of duty.

The writer learnt that “death metal” is a music genre: “a form of heavy metal music using lyrics preoccupied with death, suffering, and destruction.” Add to that the Western superstitious beliefs about Friday the 13th — an unlucky day. They generally believe that a lot of horrific and/or satanic activities take place on Friday the 13th.

There are reports that before the carnage started, Eagles of Death Metal band had just finished playing one of the group’s favourite — “Save a Prayer” — originally done by the rock group Duran Duran and whose lyrics (courtesy of Internet websites) are:

You saw me standing by the old

Corner of the main street

And the lights are flashing on your window sill

All alone ain’t much fun

So you’re looking for the thrill

And you know just what it takes and where to go

 

Don’t say a prayer for me now

Save it ‘til the morning after

No, don’t say a prayer for me now

Save it ‘til the morning after

 

Feel the breeze deep on the inside

Look you down into your well

If you can, you’ll see the world in all his fire

Take a chance

Like all dreamers can’t find another way

You don’t have to dream it all, just live a day

 

Don’t say a prayer for me now,

Save it ‘til the morning after

No, don’t say a prayer for me now

Save it ‘til the morning after

Save it ‘til the morning after

Save it till the morning after

Pretty looking road,

Try to hold the rising floods that fill my skin

Don’t ask me why I’ll keep my promise

Melt the ice

And you wanted to dance so I asked you to dance

But fear is in your soul

Some people call it a one night stand

But we can call it paradise

Don’t say a prayer for me now,

Save it ‘til the morning after

No, don’t say a prayer for me now,

Save it ‘til the morning after

Save it ‘til the morning after

Save it ‘til the morning after

Save it ‘til the morning after

Save it ‘til the morning after

They were scheduled to play another favourite, “Kiss the Devil”. Were the songs a paradox of opposites? You start wondering what was going on that Friday the 13th. Was this an incident playing out in such an ironic manner considering that eagles are large birds of prey? You feel the chill as you read the lyrics of “Kiss the Devil” (courtesy of Internet websites), written by band founder members Josh Homme and Jesse Hughes.

Who’ll love the Devil?

Who’ll sing his song?

Who will love the Devil and his song?

I’ll love the Devil

I’ll sing his song

I will love the Devil and his song

Who’ll love the Devil?

Who’ll kiss his tongue?

Who will kiss the Devil on his tongue?

I’ll love the Devil

I’ll kiss his tongue

I will kiss the Devil on his tongue

Who’ll love the Devil?

Who’ll sing his song?

I will love the Devil and his song

Who’ll love the Devil?

Who’ll kiss his tongue?

I will kiss the Devil on his tongue

Who’ll love the Devil?

Who’ll sing his song?

I will live the Devil and sing his song

They never played it as the shooting started. An ABC report says that Jesse Hughes, the “band’s front-man was on stage when the rampage started, but the band was “able to escape out a backstage door and are safe. “He said they were playing, about six songs into the show, and they heard, before they saw anything, they heard automatic machine gunfire. And it was so loud, it was louder than the band, and they all hit the stage floor. And as they got up to try to evacuate they saw men with machine guns just shooting anything and everything in the venue . . . Fifteen hundred people, Julian Dorio (lead singer) said, was about the capacity of the venue. Associated Press reported that the band’s safety was confirmed by a United States official who had been briefed by the Justice Department: “All members of Eagles of Death Metal are safe and have been accounted for,” said the statement. Eagles of Death Metal members have since left France and were scheduled to hold concerts in Germany (Cologne and Munich), and Zurich in Switzerland. Meanwhile, the tragic incident has put their name on the world map, while fans in the UK are campaigning to have “Save a Prayer” single in the top charts, even the number 1 slot. The Charlie Hebdo satire magazine achieved the same results after the terrorist shooting. The outpouring of sympathy saw the struggling magazine selling over a million copies.

Terrorism is real, but what is the untold story about the harbingers of such gory news?

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