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MeghanM on 11/13/2013 at 03:45PM

Tehran to Brooklyn: The Story of the Yellow Dogs (for Obash, Koory and Ali Salehezadeh)

Photo by Meghan McKee

Yesterday I receive a message from one of WFMU's engineers alerting me to the news that two members of The Yellow Dogs were among three Iranian musicians shot to death in East Williamsburg. I had no idea at this point that my heart was going to break in two. I spent the entire morning trolling every news source hoping the story wasn't true. I was holding my breath and praying that my friends The Yellow Dogs were safe.

I will never forget the first time meeting the band. I met up with Ali Salehezadeh at one of their concerts at Union Pool. Ali introduced me and my friends to the band. We saw them play and was blown away with the energy. The only song I knew of theirs was from the movie No One Knows About Persian Cats, so to finally hear something new to my ears blew me away. They were the perfect mix of old and new. The scene at the show was young and energetic. We stood around the fire pit in the courtyard with everyone, and you could sense the community that was part of this band.

When I had the Yellow Dogs come to do a live session for me June 2012, they were so excited to be coming to WFMU and were so thankful for the opportunity. Little did they know that I was more excited that they were going to do a live session on my show. You could feel the band's energy. They were so happy to be playing music and that other people were equally excited about it. At this point, they had a different drummer.

Ali and I were trying to put together a possible session with Ali Eskandarian and the Free Keys who had just moved over from Iran. I knew of the Free Keys from the movie as well, so I was curious as to what they were doing now. Sadly, we never did get the dates to work for Ali Eskandarian.

The next time in the studio we recorded the Free Keys, who had Arash Farazmand as their drummer, Looloosh's (Soroush Farazmand) brother. I got to sit down with the Yellow Dogs and do an interview during this session and it was wonderful. It was the easiest most relaxed interview I had ever conducted. So easy going. I knew at this point that these guys were going to be in my life always. It was such an easy connection.

Throughout the months after, I had run into Obash, the singer, at his job bartending and saw the band play at an art opening for their friends who are stencil artists named Icy and Sot. I wish I could have bottled up the energy and excitement from that night. So much fun, so much laughter and yet again, I saw the amazing people they surrounded themselves with. Youthful, carefree and happy.

Looloosh and Arash always had smiles on their faces. You could tell they were living the life. They gave off the impression that they were so happy to be where they were doing what they were doing. They had risked so much to get to this point and to finally be able to play their music without fear. This is what I will remember about them and I am glad to have known them. My heart goes out to their family back in Iran. My heart also goes out to Obash, Koory and Ali. I am relieved to know they are safe and have already let them know that I am there for them. Thank you for your amazing memories. I am so glad to have been a part of your world.

Donate Here to Help the Surviving Friends and Families of the Yelllow Dogs & 318 Maujer

Photos by Meghan McKee

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