U.S. band's musicians safe in Paris attack, crew member confirmed dead

Sat Nov 14, 2015 8:59pm EST
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By Steve Gorman and Ben Klayman

(Reuters) - All the musicians performing with the California-based rock band Eagles of Death Metal emerged unharmed from the lethal terror attack inside a Paris concert hall, but a member of their entourage was killed in the violence, relatives said on Saturday.

The band's merchandise manager, a 36-year-old Briton named Nick Alexander, was identified in a statement from his family as one of at least 89 people who died when gunmen stormed the Bataclan music hall in the midst of Friday night's show.

"Nick died doing the job he loves and we take great comfort in knowing how much he was cherished by his friends around the world," the family said. Alexander had worked the merchandise table for a number of bands touring Europe, including the Black Keys and the Disco, Rolling Stone magazine said.

Also among those killed was a Mercury Records executive, Thomas Ayad, 34, part of a team from the band's parent label, Universal Music Group, attending the concert, the company said.

The French news agency Agence France-Presse reported on Saturday that Eagles of Death Metal has decided to cut short its European tour and return home, quoting an unnamed official for the concert promoter Nous Productions.

But there was no official word from the band on the status of the remaining 21 stops on its tour, which had been slated to end on Dec. 10 in Lisbon, Portugal.

The Bataclan was one of several sites around Paris targeted by gunmen and bombers on Friday in what French authorities have said was a coordinated assault that left at least 129 dead overall. Islamic State on Saturday claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Eagles of Death Metal were onstage performing when the attack at the Bataclan began. The group, which also goes by the acronym EODM, was formed in the late 1990s in the California city of Palm Desert by lifelong friends Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme, the group's only two permanent members.   Continued...

Jesse Hughes of the rock band Eagles of Death Metal performs with drummer Joey Castillo (R) at Festival Supreme at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California in this October 25, 2014 file photo.  REUTERS/Alex Matthews