I just read an article reminding me that it's now been 10 years since the fire at The Station, the deadliest nightclub fire in US history. I can't believe it's been a decade.
I used to go to this club a lot. If, like me, you were a fan of 80s metal and living in New England, a lot of bands you'd know would come to this club in Rhode Island. Sometimes that's as far north was they'd go on a tour. I have a lot of great memories seeing those bands as well as my friends' bands there. Fortunately, I wasn't there that night Great White was playing, even though I had the club's calendar printed out and taped on my office wall.
I remember getting a call at 8 in the morning from my father, who heard the news and, knowing that I'm a shameless fan of 80s glam metal, suspected there was a chance I was at that club. Naturally, he was relieved to hear I was alive. After getting off the phone and hearing more details of the tragedy in a half-awake state, it suddenly hit me: were any of my friends in that fire? I furiously called a few friends. Fortunately, they had already had a head start calling each other, so I only had to make about 2 phone calls myself to get filled in on the details. Was Paul there? No. Was Dan there? No. Was Johnny there? Yes, but he was alive and was helping to pull out some bodies. Julie the bartender? Yes, but she escaped in time and is going to be interviewed on "Good Morning America" tomorrow. And so on. Over all, none of my close friends were among the body count of 100.
In a way, I'm not too surprised that the fire happened. The vertical space between the stage floor and the ceiling was ridiculously low, maybe 7 feet. The fire exit door on the right of it was usually completely covered over in sound foam. The other exits were awkward to get to. And to think, I was there to see W.A.S.P. less than a year before, and we were all upset that they were not allowed to use pyrotechnics that night.