Through Tragedy, The Music Industry Comes Together

When Eagles of Death Metal burst onto the scene in 1998, it's safe to say they never would've imagined that one part of their name would bear so much historical significance. But on Friday, November 13th the unthinkable happened. Sounds shook the country of France harder than any bass ever could. Le Bataclan, a theatre in Paris where the band was playing, became a war zone. Drumbeats and guitar riffs were replaced by gunshots and panic.

In one of the worst attacks to ever happen on French soil, terrorists used guns and bombs to rock the city, taking the lives of at least 129 innocent people. Nick Alexander, who sold merchandise for the band, was one of 118 killed at the concert hall. The 36-year-old was a well-known name in the rock-and-roll scene and musicians he worked with were quick to post tributes to their slain colleague.

“He was a really organized, super hard worker, really funny,” said The Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney to Rolling Stone. “I remember him always very content with being on tour. It was what seems to make him the happiest ... He was just a sweetheart, that guy.”

A GoFundMe page was also set up to help raise money for Alexander’s memorial service, which made it’s way across the social media sphere to the tune of over 45,000 shares. Thousands of friends, family and supporters pledged money to the fund with the initial goal of $25,000 tripling in just 2 days due to donations.

Guillaume B. Decherf, a French reporter for Les Inrockuptibles, was also killed in the attack. The 43-year-old had recently reviewed Eagles of Death Metal’s newest album Zipper Down for the website. Mercury Records staff member Thomas Ayad, who worked with superstar Justin Bieber, was among those to lose their lives as well. “I wish I would’ve had more time to thank him,” Bieber said on Twitter. “Make sure to appreciate people while you have them.”

In a statement from La Bataclan’s owners, they expressed their sadness for the lives lost in the tragedy. "Our thoughts go to the victims, to those injured and to their loved ones." When fans reached out to gather at the venue, they thanked them for their support, saying that it touched them "profoundly". 

The power of the people who donated to Alexander's fund and supported the venue provides a light in the darkness. In a time of great tragedy, the music community banded together. Despite the actions of several terrible people, we were also reminded that there is still good in the world. Alice in Chains summed it up perfectly in their Facebook tribute to Alexander,  "Life is short. Be good to each other."