Requesting the rocker (pictured above, in the rear) to finally step up and do the right thing regarding Eagles of Death Metal bandmate Jesse Hughes’ cruelty this week towards the Parkland massacre survivors.
By Fred Mills
Dear Josh Homme, of Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures, and in particular Eagles of Death Metal:
Your silence thus far (as of this writing, at 7:25PM, 3/28/18) regarding your Eagles of Death Metal bandmate Jesse Hughes’ recent, reprehensible stroke of cruelty inflicted upon the survivors of the Parkland massacre – literally, younger, smaller, weaker humans than Hughes – has been deafening. As a fan and supporter of yours going way back to dusty desert rock days (I was living in Arizona and circulating around the Southwest during the same time you were getting your own career off the ground in the region), I can understand the urge to steer clear of socially- and politically-charged areas, as it’s the music that is both our focus.
But sometimes you have to step up (I started to say “man up,” but I’ve decided that’s no longer an appropriate epithet; Parkland survivor Emma González is braver and has a bigger heart than I’ll ever be able to lay claim to) and do the right thing. Loyalty to a band member is understandable, but common human decency and a willingness to call out affronts to that decency has to trump mere “loyalty.” (It was heartening to see your friend Mark Lanegan stepping up to condemn Hughes earlier today. Perhaps he’ll inspire you to do likewise? I noticed that both Piers Morgan and Danko Jones weighed in recently as well. And my journalistic peers at Britain’s NME had a few choice words about Jesse.)
With that noted, a friend of mine and I are offering this open letter to you in the spirit of combating the aforementioned cruelty. We propose that you publicly issue the statement, below, regarding Hughes’ recent actions, or at very least, a statement containing similar sentiments. I think it speaks for itself.
I hope your fellow band members in the Eagles of Death Metal, in Queens of the Stone Age, and in Them Crooked Vultures, along with your management, booking, and promotional teams (Silva Artist Management, the Richard De La Font Agency, Inc., Nasty Little Man, WME Entertainment, The MGMT Company, etc…. probably several I’ve missed here), will applaud your response as regards Hughes. Put in less emotional and more prosaic, commercial terms: the longer you or any of your business partners are associated with Hughes, the more it will hurt everyone’s brand. And that’s something that, judging by the thousands of comments I’ve read on social media this week, isn’t to be taken lightly. If you’re uncertain about that, or think I’m bluffing/exaggerating, I suggest you go check out the thousand-plus comments that have been logged at the most recent posting at the Eagles of Death Metal Facebook page (the one dated March 24, from your recent concert in Tempe, Arizona). That’s more than a thousand comments at one single FB post. Check out some of the comments at your QOTSA page while you’re online, as well.
Below is a draft statement for you to issue through the appropriate channels. I sincerely hope you will consider issuing such a statement.
Fred Mills/ human/ editor, Blurt Magazine
From Josh Homme, Eagles of Death Metal, Queens of the Stone Age, & Those Crooked Vultures:
As you know, I have defended my former bandmate in the past and even called him my friend. But his statements this week involving the Parkland kids and their supporters has crossed a line and our friendship will not continue nor will our musical collaboration.
As a human, I am torn and still will support any effort to see that Jesse gets the mental and physical care he needs to re-enter society. With that noted, I will only do so by having no direct contact with him.
As a show of good faith, I will donate 10% of all my future shares in any of my upcoming musical projects to fight the sale of assault rifles, to promote the imposition of gun sale background checks, and to declare the National Rifle Association an illegal terrorist organization.
And I would like to personally extend an apology to the Parkland survivors for the emotional pain they have experienced at the hands of Jesse Hughes.