The attack on Bataclan and why it hurts my heart

Music-hall Bataclan; boulevard Voltaire; Paris
Music-hall Bataclan; boulevard Voltaire; Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those of you who know me know what I like: Soccer (and, unfortunately, Aston Villa). The Georgia Bulldogs. A movie that tells a good story. The Washington Capitals. Good food. Comedy.

But above all else: Music. Especially live music.

I’ve attended hundreds of concerts, and I’m probably approaching 1,000 shows if I haven’t hit the number already. I met my wife at a concert — Marshall Crenshaw, Bamboo Room, Lake Worth, Sept. 11, 2003. (And yes, that date is 100 percent right.)

I’ve covered quite a few of these shows for a couple of media outlets — a few for Skope, a mag out of Boston, but most for the paper I work for in South Florida. It’s been a lot of fun talking about the shows I’m lucky enough to see.

So when you start looking at the names of the people who died Friday night in Paris, especially those at the Bataclan club attending the Eagles of Death Metal concert, for me, this absolutely hits home.

There was Nick Alexander, a British man who was selling merchandise at the show. Merch guys are some of the unsung heroes of the music biz — they are among those who will never get rich doing this. Many — especially those at club shows — are in it for the love and ONLY the love.

Thomas Ayad, who worked for Mercury Music Group. Fabrice Dubois, publicity guy. I’ve known some awesome publicity people and company types — yes, some are more interested in money or advancing their career, but again, so many others are interested in the artists and the love of music. So many will help you as much as they can.

Alberto Garrido. Mathieu Hoche. Cedric Maduit. Valentin Ribet. Fans. The lifeblood of live music. Bands and musicians would be nowhere without the energy they produce. It’s a tennis match — back and forth, building, ebbing, flowing, allowing for release.

See that’s the beauty of a concert — you go to just FEEL. At least I do. And when you leave, you feel INCREDIBLE. Like you could run a marathon while fighting a dragon. You don’t even need any “chemical” help — I haven’t had a drink in 15 years, and I feel that way SOBER.

Then there was Guillame Decherf. He covered music for the magazine Les Inrocks. A man with two daughters. I can’t imagine he made a lot of money doing this — I doubt he’d be happy doing this job if he did.

Again, it’s not about the money. It’s about the love. It’s about the energy.

To me, a concert is a safe place where people who’ve never met and will likely never meet again can share something extremely meaningful and personal.

And the Eagles of Death Metal show — by a band which was NOT a death metal band, by the way, but a fun, wry rock band — was the kind of show I would definitely go to.

So to hear about someone basically violating that space with bullets … I can’t understand it. It makes me so very heartsick.

But it also makes me want to go back out and cover more shows. To show those who would make me scared to go out to a concert hall, or a basketball arena, or a club that I will NEVER stop. You cannot stop me. I will never let you. It means that much to me.