As a huge Eagles of Death Metal fan, and member of an online community who have spent time with the band on the recent leg of their tour across the UK, my musical family - along with the rest of the world - were rocked to the core by the horrific attacks in Paris on Friday 13th November.
The multi-location attacks were designed to create maximum destruction and fear, hitting innocent people across Paris who were simply trying to relax with a nice meal, a fun gig, a bit of shopping or a football match, after a long week at work. Ordinary people like you and I.
The majority of the deaths took place at the Bataclan theatre at an Eagles of Death Metal gig. Whilst the band members escaped physically unharmed, members of their crew and fans were not so lucky. Merchandising Manager Nick Alexander lost his life, as did Bataclan Stage and Lighting Manager Nathalie Jardin, along with 87 other gig-goers. Further across Paris, a further 42 people died at the hands of ISIS terrorists.
For the uninitiated, unfamiliar with the band, their name, Eagles of Death Metal is a bit of a misnomer. Media reports wrongly describe them as a dark heavy metal band, a conclusion that admittedly, their ironic name makes it easy to come to. In reality, Eagles of Death Metal are an easy-listening, fun, desert rock band, created by best friends Jesse Hughes and Queens of the Stone Age front-man Josh Homme. They sing bouncy, happy, rock and roll songs that make their fans smile, typically in small club venues like the Bataclan. They make time to talk to and get to know their fans, and share songs, chat and drinks with them. The loss of life at their gigs - usually warm and friendly events - will undoubtedly have shaken them to their core.
Eagles of Death Metal at the Bataclan. Photo credit: Manuwino.com
Given their close relationship with their fans and the outpourings of love and support the fans are showing each other, I wasn't surprised to hear about a peer-led campaign, which aims to support to the band, fans, and people grieving across the world. A social media campaign has been launched to get Eagles of Death Metal's cover of Duran Duran's Save a Prayer to Number 1 in the UK charts. Just a few weeks previously both bands had performed the track together on TFI Friday. Organisers say they aim to show solidarity against terrorism, support all affected in France and across the world, and highlight the will for peace.
With the song currently at #1 on the iTunes rock chart, #37 in their singles chart, #5 in the Norwegian chart, and nearly 12,000 people aligned with the cause via social media, the campaign is beginning to gather steam. Last night Simon le Bon took to twitter to support the campaign, offering all of Duran Duran's royalties and profits from the record sales to related causes that "are peaceful and uniting."
Organisers say: "We are regular gig-goers who could easily have been at the Bataclan that evening. This campaign is intended to be a great show of togetherness amongst music fans. With the speed of how quick the numbers went up, clearly there are many who want to show support. The track hit #1 on the Amazon and iTunes Rock charts within 24 hours." When news reached them of Simon le Bon's tweet they said: We thank Duran Duran for their magnificent gesture."
To get behind the campaign, you can download Eagles of Death Metal's version of Save a Prayer from the following outlets before midnight on Thursday.