Eagles of Death Metal
Becoming 7 if you recall began as my journey to rediscover the joys of childhood. I am sure you are asking how does Eagles of Death Metal fit in? They aren’t a children’s band. They aren’t a band from the 70’s or 80’s. What gives Michelle?
I grew up in a military family. Until I was 13 in Dec of 1985, I did not live anywhere for 2 years. I was in 8th grade when my family moved to Palm Desert, CA.
Palm Desert Middle School would be the first place I heard the name Jesse Hughes. By the time High School ended we had spent many hours running up highway 74, or up and down the sides of the wash. I can tell you that during my teenage angst years, Jesse was a positive force in my life.
I would imagine these photos are close to what I looked like when we last crossed paths. Until, April 18th.
Quite honestly until the Bataclan attack took place in Paris, I didn’t know much about what he was up to anymore.
As crazy as it sounds and as far away from Paris that I was, it really made me reassess things. Who out there have I not yet told what they mean to me? Who out there was an important influence on my life and has been long forgotten?
I also promised myself that if I were ever near where he was performing I was going to go. I was going to go to support the person I knew. The person who was at one time in my life a source of encouragement on a near daily basis.
I truly believe in the difference between who you are and what you do. I guess one way to try to explain it is:
who you are is your character, integrity, your history
what you are is more like what you are to outsiders i.e. a rockstar
Bart and I were able to get floor tickets to see Eagles of Death Metal at The Warfield. Having looked over The Warfield’s seating charts, we knew we needed to be there early if we wanted to get up as close as we could.
Had we not stopped at the merchandise table and the drinks counters we probably would have been against the stage. As it was, we only had one person between each of us and the stage. About as good as you can get in my opinion.
The first band of the night was Russian Circles. Russian Circles is from Chicago, IL. They are a three member instrumental post-metal band. They named themselves after a hockey drill exercise. What was really unique is their lack of microphone. They come on stage. They play. Then they leave. My understanding is they want the listeners to interpret what the music means to each person individually. Bart and I enjoyed them.
Next up was Eagles of Death Metal. We had a great night! Bart was feeling like a teenager seeing Jennie Vee. I was feeling nostalgic, because after 25 years, many of Jessie’s expressions remain the same. I also really enjoyed seeing him engage with the crowd. It was a great show!
As Mastadon began to set their stage, Bart and I wondered if we could find a path to exit the packed venue. Luck would have it that the people behind you are more then happy to let you out so they can get a little closer to the band they came to see.
Once we got outside, we waited. Someone outside who said they didn’t know who Jesse was, magically appeared in some of our photos. It kind of makes me laugh.
We got to talk to Dave Catching for a few minutes. He was really friendly.
I did get to talk to Jesse and I was able to make sure he knew how I knew him. I wasn’t able to get but a few moments of his time. There are a few things I wish I could have said to him face to face but was not allowed to.
Jesse Hughes there are some things I want to say to you… I really wish it was face to face because I wish you would truly know that my words are sincere…
- you have value as a person not just as a performer
- I am proud of you, your dedication, and hard work
- all those years ago, riding on charter buses, trading cassette tapes between teammates, I never had a clue how damn talented you are much less that you had such a great love for music. I think I probably carried the most cassettes out of everyone. I had all of the inserts on my bedroom wall so the cases just held the tapes. I was organized enough to keep them in order and to know which one was missing at any given time.
- when it was hot as hell and we had to run up highway 74, you were there telling me I could do it, not only could I make it to where our turn around was, you would remind me that I was able to make it back. I would say the same thing about our insane race route that ended with us going down the wash and then running back up the wash in the sand. That was a killer way to end a race.
- No matter how moody I was or how much I tried to shut out the entire world, you made a point to reach out
Ultimately, what I want to say is Thank You for being a friend during a time in my life when I really needed one. I can only pray that others have the support systems that we had as kids in the desert.
As I am writing this and Bart is talking to me, I just had a realization.
I remember seeing an interview or maybe it was a video from a PDHS Alumni thing where Josh talks about how we started at a new small school as a close knit group of kids. We were given some of the most talented teachers, coaches and mentors to guide us. As a result, a lot of success has come to many people we grew up with. We were always told we could do it no matter how impossible something seemed. We were encouraged and given the opportunities to fly. We had adults who made us believe we could all be rockstars, actors, writers, photographers, professional athletes, and so much more.