February 20, 2003….A date that will always be remembered by myself and many other people here in Rhode Island.
That night the band Great White was playing at the Station Night Club in West Warwick. A fire caused by pyrotechnics killed 100 people including my sister, Dina DeMaio.
Dina was not there to see Great White. She was working at the Station part-time as a waitress and was not supposed to work that night.
It was her 30th birthday, but the owners of the club asked her to work because of all the people that were going to be there. Dina had never even heard of Great White (she listened to Tupac and that rap crap)… In fact, she called me that afternoon to ask who Great White was because she knew I still listened to 80’s metal.
I was living in Texas at the time. If I was living here in Rhode Island, I might have been there that night as well. I remember telling her ‘Happy Birthday,’ then getting off the phone, never thinking that would be the last time I would ever talk to her.
Now, it’s 10 years later and a lot of narrow-minded, angry people around here put all the blame of the Station Nightclub Fire on Great White. I’m more intelligent than that. The owners of the club, Great White’s manager and the guys in Great White all should have known better than to use Pyrotechnics in a club with low ceilings.
My mother thinks I should not listen to 80’s metal anymore because of what happened, but other types of music just don’t do anything for me. When I listen to Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Dio, Sabbath, it just gets my blood pumping. Am I wrong for it? I don’t know. I’m 42 and old enough to know what I like. I am listening to METAL SHOP right now as I am writing this. Rock on! Keep defending the faith!