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Opinion: Weblogs

Updated 2.28.2003
The Station Fire Web log

Link to this page. Seen something this blog should point to? Email Sheila.
To read chronologically, start from the bottom of this page.)

Week one • Week two Week three Week four Aftermath
Complete Providence Journal coverage (reg. req.)

Photo by Anthony Baldino III
The Station in West Warwick, before the fire. The mural -- with images of Janis Joplin, Steven Tyler, Elvis, Jimi Hendrix and Ozzy Osbourne -- was painted by Anthony Baldino III last summer and fall.

In the light of the cancellation of Copperfield's benefit, I'm going to postpose the list of next weekend's benefits till the clubs are all sure their permits are straight. This weekend's benefits are here. That's all for now...

5 p.m. Foam firm owner: Club bought non-fire retardant soundproofing (Providence Journal, Tom Mooney) (reg. req.)

The owner of American Foam Corp. in Johnston says The Station nightclub in June 2000 purchased $575 worth of common egg-crate packing foam for soundproofing, but it was not fire retardant.

The fire retardant foam would have cost twice as much, according to Aram DerManouelian, who said the club wanted "the lowest grade, the cheapest stuff."

"They had a choice, and they bought general purpose egg-crate foam," said DerManouelian. "It kept the noise down, but whoever figured they'd put flame on it? Jesus. For a $575 invoice, here we are."

...DerManouelian said Michael Derderian, co-owner of the club, wrote out a check for a delivery of 25 sheets of the charcoal foam on June 27, 2000. The foam was 2 1/2 inches thick. Each sheet was 37 by 84 inches in diameter. It was made of polyurethane and is generally used for packing.

"It's unfortunate," DerManouelian said. "They did not buy fire retardant foam. Yeah, they could have. We sell fire-retardant foam. They bought the wrong kind. In hindsight, they probably didn't think they were going to have a fire." ...

Kathleen M. Hagerty, a lawyer for Michael Derderian, confirmed that the club had purchased the foam. She said a neighbor who worked as a salesman for American Foam Corp. suggested they use it as a solution to complaints neighbors had about noise from the club.

4:45: Injured: I put every name on the injured list into Google, looking for sites created by friends. Besides the site devoted to Gina (Catallozzi) Gauvin mentioned yesterday, I found only one, at Bates College: "Bates College junior Philip B. Barr, of Lincoln, R.I., is listed in critical condition but is expected to recover." There's an accompanying photo.

4:20: Small local papers: The East Greenwich Pendulum interviews two firefighters, and The Narragansett Times, two rescue workers. The Taunton (Mass.) Gazette: City woman is left badly burned after Station fire

4:05 In loving memory of Jeff Rader: Jeff Rader's best friend writes a profile of the roadie. Rader had in the past worked for Great White and Tesla, but was visiting his girlfriend, Rebecca Shaw, 24, of Warwick, and took her to the show to meet his friends in the band. The couple both died at the scene. There's another tribute at

2:30 p.m. Ad for the fatal concert in the Feb. 21-27 Providence Phoenix.

1:45: Copperfield's has had to cancel its Sunday benefit for victims of the fire.

Russ Yates, owner of the club, said the Warwick licensing department called and said they'd seen the benefit advertised, but the club hadn't applied for an entertainment permit for Sunday's concert. "We should have checked and made sure we procured an entertainment license," Yates added. "With what's going on now, they want everybody to cross the T's and dot the I's."

The board meets twice a month, and March 11 is the next meeting.

Yates hopes to reschedule the concert soon after that, if the permit is granted, with most of the same bands. Mr. Breeze (a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute) Strutt, Young Neal and the Vipers, Backlash, PowerHouse, Witz End, Diver Down (Van Halen tribute), Nothing 2 Lose, Old School, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. (an Ozzy/Black Sabbath tribute), Mutley, and Hysteria (a Def Leppard tribute) had been scheduled to play.

The benefit tonight at The Odyssey is still on. It's at 1073 Main St. (Route 18), S. Weymouth, Mass., described as a "benefit show for Jaimie Conway (burn victim) and the family of Shawn Sweet, who died in the fire. Tryptonite will headline, $10. Starts about 8:30. (781) 335-1400.

WHJY still plans a vigil Saturday night in memory of DJ Mike Gonsalves and the other victims. Beginning at 11 p.m. at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in downtown Providence, there'll be a tribute to "The Doctor" and a live simulcast of his last Metal Zone show. RIPTA has volunteered buses and drivers to transport people from Warwick and West Warwick to the vigil.

Century Lounge/ The Call, at 15 Elbow St. in Providence will be hosting a series of shows, tonight through Sunday titled the "Call to Action Benefit." A minimum $10 donation is requested at the door. Here are the lineups:

Friday: The Blueshounds, The New Prophets, Vic Foley, The Complaints, Mark Cutler and Dino Club, Marc Philip Band. Starts at 7 p.m.

Saturday: Fungus Amungus, Some Weird Band, Depth Quartet (featuring members of Max Creek), Big Jon Tierney and The Truth, Floodwaters, Turning Blue, The Jim James band and Ricky Valente (solo acoustic), Betty Finn, Just Before August and Psycads. Starts at 7 p.m.

Sunday: Dave Howard, Young Neal and the Vipers, Rick Mendes, Green Tea, New Prophets, Jan Schmidt, John "Crawlin' Snake" Mac. 7 p.m.

Call (401) 751-2255 for details.

12:30 p.m. Fire safety lights: One of the problems fire survivors report was the difficulty of knowing where the exits were after smoke obscured the signs above the doors.

At my request, John Mauro, the fire chief in Southborough, Mass., who had emailed me about our coverage, sent along some links about floor level exit signs, and a diagram, adding, "I have seen pictures of such exit signs - mostly from the west coast. Standard exit signs - equipped with battery-powered backup - are installed both above egress doors, and near the floor level. Basically the same signs used above the door are hard-wired near the floor level."

Here are the links:

New technology in life safety lighting and exit signs provides a safe haven – at reduced cost (from College Planning and Management). Mauro points to this section:

Among the other trends in some areas is low-level egress marking - placement of egress path markings near floor level where they will be seen by anyone crawling down a smoke-filled hallway. Gregory Harrington, P.E., an NFPA fire protection engineer, says this is recognized by NFPA as a supplement to standard-level egress markings, but isn’t required. ‘‘Previously, there also were requirements for floor-level exit signs in hotel occupancies, which includes dormitories - in fact, you still see them quite a bit on the west coast,’‘ he says. ‘‘However, when the code introduced a requirement for sprinklers in new hotels, they removed the requirement for floor level exit signs. This recognizes that sprinklers are going to suppress the fire, and there won’t be the generation of smoke you would otherwise expect.’‘

Penta says another possible adjunct to the life safety lighting and egress systems in residence halls, although he hasn’t seen it in place yet, is use of floor-level illumination: ‘‘to mark the path of egress using strip lights such as you would see in an airliner.’‘ These strip lights are available in three versions: a series of six-volt incandescent lights or LEDs embedded in plastic or electroluminescent panels.

A photoluminescent pathway lighting system

NFPA Life Safety Code: Emergency lighting and marking of means of egress

Fire toll rises to 97: Linda Suffoletto of Glocester, R.I., died at 5:15 a.m. at Massachusetts General Hospital, according the the hospital's Web site. Mrs. Suffoletto's husband, Benjamin Joseph Suffoletto Jr., 43, was killed in the fire. He was buried yesterday.

Yesterday, FEMA denied R.I. Gov. Donald L. Carcieri's request to declare The Station fire a major disaster, which would have brought federal relief. An appeal may come later.


6:45 p.m. Please be our eyes and ears: We intend to publish here tomorrow a list of benefits set for this weekend and beyond. If you're a club owner planning a benefit, please send the details in an email. If you're at a club this weekend that has put up a sign for a benefit not listed here, please email the name and location of the club, and whatever details you know. We'll contact the club to confirm the benefit.

Updated 5:05 p.m. List of victims, including 4 more identified today. Death toll has been reduced from 97 to 96 as partial remains have been identified. The number of people reported missing now equals the number of bodies recovered.

4:08 p.m. Inspection report of The Station by the West Warwick Fire Dept., November 2002. (pdf format) Requested by a reader.

3:42 p.m. Status of Massachusetts General Hospital patients from R.I. Fire: "MGH now is caring for a total of eleven (11) patients; Shriners is caring for a total of three (3)." It was the first time ever that Shriners -- a burn center for children -- took adult patients. Patients' conditions are regularly updated here.

2:55 p.m. More Longley stories and links from the guitarist's boyhood hometown paper, the Sharon (Pa.) Herald.

2:25 p.m. The other paper: Today's Providence Phoenix, the weekly alternative paper here, weighs in from the heart of the music scene with Beyond grief, by news editor Ian Donnis, and a personal tribute to his former radio colleague, WHJY DJ Dr. Metal, Michael Gonsalves, by Rudy Cheeks, who's Jorge in the usually sardonic Philippe & Jorge column.

In a story that hits us here, Donnis also writes, "The catastrophic February 20 fire at the Station nightclub in West Warwick will lend an undercurrent of solemnity to what would have otherwise been a more raucous and freewheeling event -- the 30th anniversary edition this Friday, February 28 of the Providence Newspaper Guild's annual Follies," referring to the sold-out dinner and satirical political revue that raises money for the union scholarship fund.

12:25 p.m. Friends of Ty Langley rally: From Keavin Wiggins, publisher and editor of iconoFAN Network of Orange, Calif.:

We've set up a info hub of sorts on related to the tragedy.

This is a really sad situation for everyone. The guitarist of Great White, Ty Longley, was a regular member of an all star jam that performs at a weekly show that antiMUSIC sponsors so many of our writers and friends have been personally touched by this tragedy.

Among the new info at antiMUSIC is a pointer to the Baby Longley Fund, set up to help with the unborn child of Heidi (Peralta) and Ty Longley.

11:27 a.m. Virtual web of support: Here's a spontaneous outpouring of support for Gina (Catallozzi) Gauvin, 42, of Johnston, listed in critical condition at UMass/Worcester hospital. A web page is an organizing tool for daily updates on her condition and attempts to help the recovery, rehabilitation and family of the single mother of three. Gauvin's medical ordeal is daunting:

Gina is in a medication-induced coma, and will be for the next three weeks to possibly two months. She has not been conscious yet. Renee states that when Gina's family members are in the room, that Gina's heart rate slows, like she is calmed by them being there.

Friends and strangers are donating blood, donating portions of web sales, and rallying around a woman they may never have met. Here's how I learned of the effort:

Dear Ms. Lennon,

I'm writing on behalf of Ronnie Buck, who started the OrnateSky Fund for his dear friend Gina Gauvin, an injured victim in the fire. Gina has been a steady influence in providing support to the reptile community. Ronnie, the moment he learned of Gina's injuries, immediately set up his website to gather funds to benefit Gina and her family. I'm overjoyed with how the reptile and amphibian community across the country have come together to help Gina in her time of need.

Ronnie's website is Thank you for your time and consideration.

Desiree Wong

Redondo Beach, CA / AIM: vegasiguana (find a vet) (daily herp news and links) (OrnateSky Fund -- fellow herper injured in RI fire)


5:55 p.m. Map: A reader who used to live in Rhode Island just requested a map that will show where The Station was located. Here it is.

5:45 p.m. The secure server for the Station Nightclub Fire Relief Fund is up and running.

5:40 p.m. Late night vigil: WHJY plans a vigil Saturday night in memory, especially, of their DJ Mike Gonsalves but also to honor the other victims.

Beginning at 11 p.m. at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in downtown Providence, there'll be a tribute to "The Doctor" and a live simulcast of his last Metal Zone show.

They're looking for a few people to say a few words in memory of a lost loved one, and for photos of victims for a slideshow.

They will provide candles for the vigil at the door.

3:54 p.m. Ways to help: It may be peculiarly American that we express our grief by opening our wallets. Here's the major fund for the victims and their families, and a couple of new ways to give:

Station Nightclub Fire Relief Fund:

Please make checks payable to:

The Station Nightclub Fire Relief Fund
United Way of Rhode Island
229 Waterman Street
Providence, RI 02906
(401) 444-0600 -

Please note on the outside of the envelope that the donation is for the Station Nightclub Fund.

Updated: There's a secure server for online donations.

Liquid Blue Charitable Fund (link updated):

Liquid Blue is a Rhode Island company that sells Grateful Dead items, as well as rock, sports and nature T-shirts. The owners also own The Century Lounge and The Call, listed below as having three benefits for the victims this weekend.

The foundation is accepting donations through its secure server, and says, "100% of these monies will go directly to the families in need." To give more than the specified amounts, donate more than once.

WHJY reports: Close friends and family members have set up a fund in 'The Doctor's' Name:

Donations can be made to:

The Michael J. Gonsalves Endowment Fund
600 Mount Pleasant Avenue
Providence, RI 02908

3:44 p.m. Mp3 for WHJY DJ: Tribute Song to the Doctor with Metallica's Fade To Black

3:31 p.m. New London Radio Station Was Local Link To Night Of Horror In Rhode Island: From the New London (Conn.) Day,

Six employees of FM radio station WUXL and 22 listeners had tickets to the Great White show at The Station in West Warwick, R.I., where a fire took 97 lives hours before. There were hugs at the station when they accounted for all of their employees. But a man who cleaned the station office, but was not an official employee, had received a free ticket and was missing. And there were still listeners to find. Station staff mobilized and phoned all those who won tickets during a station contest.

Thanks to blogger Matt Edwards for yet another good link.


3:20 p.m. Radio industry perspective: NorthEast Radio Watch by Scott Fybush reports on its own. After mentioning club owner and WPRI TV reporter Jeff Derderian, co-owner of the The Station, and offering an obit for WHJY DJ Mike Gonsalves, Fybush adds,

Two other concertgoers who were confirmed dead over the weekend had broadcast ties as well. Dale Latulippe, whose name was among the first to be announced Saturday, was the son of former WRKO newsman Don Latulippe. Dale Latulippe was a drummer and a father of a seven year old; he was 46 years old. Also among the dead was 21 year old James Gehan of Falmouth, Mass., a DJ at Nichols College campus station WNRC (95.1 Dudley MA).

...we send our best wishes as well to Don Latulippe, who was hospitalized after suffering an angina attack early this morning, but hopes to be out of the hospital in time for his son's funeral on Friday.

Blogger Lou Josephs, who sent the link, adds that Fybush "used to work at WBZ radio then went to Rochester to do cable tv, and now freelances."

Josephs adds, "I worked with Don Latilupe at WROR, he's a nice guy. Last I heard was working at WPLM."

2:50 p.m. Manager: Band triggered pyro. The Boston Herald reports today,

The manager of The Station nightclub said yesterday he is ``absolutely certain'' the road manager of Great White triggered the flares that set his club on fire, and said the pyrotechnics were brought on the stage ``with no permission at all'' from himself or club owners Michael and Jeffrey A. Derderian.

In his first interview since his West Warwick, R.I., club was incinerated on Thursday - claiming the lives of 97 people, including 10 of his close friends - Kevin Beese, 38, of Coventry, R.I., also told the Herald the combustible foam used to soundproof The Station had been ``donated'' by a club neighbor irritated by the venue's noise.

And he said the club's previous manager put most of the polyurethane in place with spray adhesive.

``There is no doubt in my mind he's the one that initiated the pyro,'' Beese said of Dan Biechele, Great White's tour manager, who has refused all requests for comment since the fire. ``He's the one who said, `(bleep), I screwed up,' just after that stuff went off.''

Beese, a father of four, worked at the club for six years. He started as doorman and barman, and became the manager in August 2000, five months after the Derderians took over the site. He spoke after a midday interview with West Warwick police, his second talk with law enforcement since the inferno.

He said police questioned him about the Derderians' finances and accounting, but he told them they should instead focus on Biechele and the actions of Great White.

2:35 p.m. Love brought roadie Jeff Rader to R.I.: The San Francisco Chronicle is eulogizing Jeff Rader of Danville, Calif., roadie with Great White and Tesla who is missing and presumed dead in the fire. (Identification is presumably more difficult when dental records may have to come from far away.)

Jeff Rader of Danville loved music, M&Ms, the Pittsburgh Steelers and, above all, his new girlfriend, a 24-year-old Rhode Island woman named Becky.

Rader, who had toured with the band Great White as a sound technician, was visiting Rhode Island last week when he decided to take his girlfriend to the Station on Thursday to meet the band.

It was a fatal mistake. The couple were among the 97 people who perished in the swift-moving fire Thursday that was sparked by the band's pyrotechnic display.

His friends say Rader, 32, died a hero. And there's evidence for that: In the eerie video footage of the fire, captured by a television reporter doing a piece on nightclub safety, Rader turns from the stage, raises his hand high and points people to an exit.

A veteran of Great White shows, Rader would have known more quickly than anyone that the flames were not staged, said his best friend, Duane Serfass, 30, of Fairfax.

Also according to Serfass, band members told Rader's older brother, Ralph, that Rader escaped the building but returned in search of his girlfriend.

Her remains have been identified, Serfass said; Rader's have not. However, he is counted among the dead.

1:45 p.m. The Ty Longley Foundation: Set up in honor of Great White's rhythm guitarist, who died in the fire. At Knight Records' news page,

I have gone through all the material that we have and after speaking with his Dad and Sister today, we are going to release a CD that contains music recorded by Ty, with various different musicians. All the proceeds from this CD will go to the newly formed TY LONGLEY FOUNDATION, that I am setting up along with his Family's assistance. This foundation will contribute to many needy causes, including the funds that benefit the victims of Feb 20. This CD is available for pre-ordering NOW at the low price of $10.00. To pre-order this CD please click HERE

More on the CD:

Ty Longley - Regular Guy is a CD that is dedicated to the hopes and dreams of one of the most talented guitarists we ever saw who passed away in the Rhode Island tragedy on Feb 20, 2003. From Jazz to Metal, Blues to Pop - he could do it all - and with style.

We captured some of these performances and combined them with songs he recorded with other bands to make this CD.

There are acoustic performances with Jack Russell, from a European press tour they did in 2002, acoustic songs recorded with Christi, along with Krys Baratto on Bass guitar as well as songs with other musicians. We are still tracking down a few more tracks and the CD will contain between 12 - 16 tunes, plus some rather unique audio that only Ty could record!!!!

11:55 a.m.
Man arrested for falsely reporting person missing in fire:

(Providence Journal, Jack Perry) (reg. req.)

Jeremy J.Howell, 25, of 1642 1/2 Main Street, West Warwick, was arrested on two counts of obtaining property under false pretenses, one count of filing a false document and one count of obstruction of a police/fire investigation, according to a statement from the State Police.

...He reported to the West Warwick police that his girlfriend went to The Station to see the band Great White and was still missing.

...Howell was held overnight at State Police headquarters in North Scituate and will be arraigned today in Third Division Court in Warwick.

AP reports that "police say Howell had 'money issues' -- and was looking for a free meal and phone calls."

Great White Has No Plans to Keep Touring. Reuters reports,

Rock band Great White has ended any plans to continue its nightclub tour following the deadly club fire in West Warwick, Rhode Island, last week at which it was playing, a spokesman for the group said on Tuesday.

"Despite all rumors, there are no plans of any kind for continued touring by Great White," spokesman Byron Hontas told Reuters.

New photos inside The Station on the night of the fire, at Gamma.

There's a web page for Trip, the band that had been touring with Great White.

Another first person account from the concert, this one on the WHJY site from former Clear Channel intern Robert Riffe.

Sound clip: WHJY-FM's Joe Bevilacqua grieves for missing deejay Mike "The Doctor" Gonzalves in Windows media format. (Gonsalves is now officially listed as dead.)

Fans Angry At MTV Over Lack of Rhode Island Tragedy Coverage. At antiMUSIC.

Shame of the Grammys - A bizarre silence about the Rhode Island nightclub fire. Timothy Noah at Slate.

Weird: Google cache of Watergate burglar G. Gordon Liddy's page on the fire.

Weirder: In the course of searching Google, I saw a paid ad that reads,

The Tragedy of Rock
The devasting Great White fire is
a symptom of rock's ills.

It goes to fire and brimstone ravings. They paid for this???


Next update in the morning.

Updated: 6:58 p.m. List of victims, including 26 more identified today.

Updated 6:45 p.m. Benefit concerts are beginning to take shape, with several scheduled for this weekend:

Century Lounge/ The Call, will be hosting a series of shows this Friday through Sunday titled the "Call to Action Benefit." A minimum $10 donation is requested at the door.

Friday: The Blueshounds, The New Prophets, Vic Foley, The Complaints, Mark Cutler and Dino Club, Marc Philip Band. Starts at 7 p.m.

Saturday: Fungus Amungus, Some Weird Band, Depth Quartet (featuring members of Max Creek), Big Jon Tierney & the Truth, Floodwaters, Turning Blue, Jim James band and Ricky Valente (solo acoustic), Betty Finn, Just Before August and Psycads. Starts at 7 p.m.

Sunday: Dave Howard, Young Neal and the Vipers, Rick Mendes, Green Tea, New Prophets, Jan Schmidt, John (Crawlin' Snake) Mac. 7 p.m.

Call (401) 751-2255 for details.

The Odyssey, 1073 Main St. (Route 18), S. Weymouth, Mass., Friday night, described as a "benefit show for Jaimie Conway (burn victim) and the family Shawn Sweet (victim who passed away)" Tryptonite will headline, $10. Starts about 8:30. (781) 335-1400

Copperfield's, 1551 Warwick Ave., Warwick, Sunday. Bands: Mr. Breeze (a Lynrd Skynrd tribute) Strutt, Young Neil and the Vipers, Backlash, Power House, Witz End, Diver Down (Van Halen tribute), Nothing 2 Lose, Old School, S.B.S. (an Ozzy/Black Sabbath tribute), Mutley, and Hysteria (a Def Leppard tribute). Doors open at 1, music starts at 2. $10. (401) 738-7936.

More upcoming benefits are listed at WHJY.

WHJY DJ died in fire: Michael Gonsalves (aka Dr. Metal and The Doctor), the WHJY DJ who hosted the Great White show at The Station, has been declared dead. The radio station website offers photos, and a message board in his honor.

Thre's also a tribute to him on the Great White Fire board at from Steve Scarpetti of WHJY. Here's an excerpt:

I work for the local rock station and was doing a promotion appearance at the show. My co-worker and radio dj partner, Doctor Metal is among the missing. At this time we know that he did not make it. I just want everyone who reads this to know that Doc was a huge Heavy metal supporter and his show "the Metal Zone" is the longest running metal show in North America. His love of metal has touched almost every band in the industry and every fan in southern New England.

In the words that he always said for the closing of every "metal zone" show I think these words sum it up best, "Keep it loud, keep it heavy, and remember heavy metal forever." Thank you Goodnight.

Thanks to blogger Matt Edwards for the link.

2:05 p.m. At Roadie Net, there's a query about Jeff Rader,

...who doesn't appear to be on your [victims] list. He is believed (don't know if confirmed) dead. Jeff was part of Great White's road crew (which is why I checked for details.)

He also worked on Tesla's road crew. There are numerous posts about him, as well as pictures, on Tesla's official site and (Tesla's guitarist.) He was from the S.F. Bay area, and his family has flown to R.I. and his brother has posted some details to the following site.

The first 'Guest' post is from Frank, the second is from Jeff's brother.

This last link references a Monday post from Jeff's brother, Ralph Rader, saying that he and his parents are in Warwick "awaiting confirmation on Jeff."

There is no official list of the missing. Those described as missing on the victims list landed there because somebody called The Journal to say they were going to The Station and are now missing. A roadie from California wouldn't have had anyone make that call.

Gov. Carcieri said yesterday that there are four more people reported missing than there are bodies.

1:35 p.m.
Scott (aka Skott) Greene, who perished in the fire, owned Doors of Perception Tattoo on Quaker Lane in West Warwick. Scott's friend Jesse Parent sends a link to the site's guestbook, which has turned into a memorial page. Here's a photo of Scott at work.

11:55 a.m.
Updated: list of victims.

Overnight blog views:

Where Worlds Collide: Two hundred years ago we'd never have heard of events like the genocide in Rwanda. Probably fifty years ago it wouldn't have the same level of reporting. And in the days before the Internet it would never have occurred to me that anyone I know might have been killed in the Rhode Island fire.

Pursued by the news: Raye at By Sand and Sea Journal -- she lives in Newburyport, Mass. -- flees from left brain to right:

I have not turned on the news or looked at a newspaper yet today. Isn't that amazing? I hope the world is still out there and things are more or less going on as usual. Yesterday's news was uniformly awful (transplanting the wrong organs into that poor teenager and then that horrific club fire in Rhode Island, plus war, war, war!) so I turned it all off. Quiet sounds good for a change.

Anyway. I thought I'd pass along a neat link or two. I found this Color Schemer via BrianKaneOnline. If you're trying to come up with color schemes for your website (or probably for ideas in painting/decorating your house as well), this tool is indispensable. If you're starting with one color in mind, it'll give you a pallet of complementing/coordinating colors. Really nice. It's fun to play with even if you're not decorating anything.

Reason Online: The Fire This Time

Of course, there is ultimately no making good on a life�and something unseemly tawdry about such huge loss of life for Jack Russell's Great White. A new Hannah Arendt could write a book on the banality of tragedy here�that the washed-up remnants of a one-hit-wonder hair-metal band from a past decade should be the cause of the hugest, by far, rock n' roll tragedy in our nation's history is mocking the very gods in rock n' roll heaven.

Blogger Matt Edwards (Game-Six) of Ledyard, Conn., stayed up all night watching news accounts of the fire as it happened, and blogged it. He recommends this Baltimore Sun story by former Journal reporter and Rhode Island resident Ariel Sabar, writing that "it really makes you feel like you are inside The Station."

R.I. Gov. Carcieri's request to the President "that you declare a major disaster for the State of Rhode Island as a result of this fire."


I'm going home to sleep. Check for overnight updates. Back in the mornng.-- SL

6:10 p.m. More local action at Tom Hoffman's Tuttle SVC blog. He's from Providence. Excerpt:

I just hope no stupid legislation comes out of this. Don't shoot off fireworks in small, crowded wooden buildings with flammable wall coverings. I like going to see rock music in small crappy dives. If people aren't completely ignorant morons with no respect for life or law, it isn't a problem. If they are, a few more laws won't help.

5:30 p.m. Musicians detail harrowing night: The Oregonian has a story about Trip, the tour band that travels with Great White:

Rhode Island’s attorney general later advised (Michael) Shapiro and two bandmates, bassist Jason Williams and drummer Johnny Reagle, to get out of town, fearing they would be the target of retaliation, Shapiro said.

4:10 p.m. Longley officially dead: Here's the latest official "Partial list of victims." Ten more names were added today, including that of Great White guitarist Ty Longley.

The latest names released: Richard Cabral, 37, Attleboro, Mass.; Rachel DePietro, 31, Providence; Albert Anthony DiBonaventura, 18, North Dighton, Mass.; Laura Gillet, 32, Pembroke, Mass.; Scott Griffith, 41, Mission Viejo, Calif.; Tracy King, 39, Warwick; Ty Longley, 31, North Ridge, Calif.; Andrea Mancini, 28, Johnston; Carlos L. Pimental, 38, West Warwick; Everett "Tommy" Woodmansee, 30, Alton.

San Jose Mercury News reports about Scott Griffith, whom the above list says is from Mission Viejo, Calif., "In recent years, Griffith, 41, had overcome problems with alcohol and drugs, gone to tech school and was living in Warwick, R.I., with his 13-year-old daughter. He was friends with Great White vocalist Jack Russell and guitarist Mark Kendall and was near the stage when the fire broke out, friends said."

The release of the names is lagging behind word of mouth; in one case, the Navy confirms a death of one victim on the "missing" list. We don't know how many relatives need to be notified before a death becomes official.

(I was told not to call a missing person a victim, since "victim" seems to have become a temporary euphemism for "dead. " Nonsense. The number of victims is enormous, far outstripping the number who were actually in the club.)

National Fire Protection Association page on the fire has guidelines for using pyrotechnics and more.

2 p.m. Ty Longley's hometown waits for official word: John Zavinski of the Sharon (Pa.) Herald sends along a link to their Ty Longley story, by staff writer Joe Pinchot. Longley, rhythm guitarist of Great White, is still officially listed as missing.

"Ty's from here in Sharon, Pa., which is on the Ohio border," Zavinski wrote. Excerpts:

In a video that was broadcast on many news shows, Longley could be seen at the club in a black muscle shirt, looking in the direction of the flames that quickly spread from the band's pyrotechnic display.

"If I see it one more time on TV, I'm going to throw up," (his mother, Mary Pat Frederickson of Valdosta, Ga.) said, adding that she saw the band play in Tampa two weeks ago and use the same kind of pyrotechnics used Thursday night.

Interviewed by CNN, (Great White lead singer ) Jack Russell said he was pulled from the club by stage crew members, and did not see Longley once he got outside. On stage, Russell and Longley were several feet from each other.


(Longley) didn't always make a living from music -- taking day jobs as a telemarketer, marketing man for an entertainment company, busing tables at the Quaker Steak and Lube in Sharon, and teaching guitar -- but it took him around the world. He toured Europe with Great White, South Korea military bases with Upper Level, and Japan with Seduction.

Although he grew up with hard rock and heavy metal, he always listened to other types of music and tried to incorporate those styles into his playing. He played Prince and Madonna tunes with Scene of the Crime, dance music with Seduction and original pop-rock with Lisa St. Ann. His tour with Ms. St. Ann included a 1998 gig at the Hot Rod Cafe in Sharon.

1:30 p.m. Blogs reporting:

JimSpot's Jim Schwab writes that he's been covering the fire "from the perspective of someone who's seen THAT band at THAT club." He also filed a report for

The Rhode Island Weblog: "...the fallout is still to come from people you don't hang out with on an everyday basis-- the guy who delivered the CocaCola, someone you went to high school with. People you didn't necessarily talk to, but you know, and remember, and suddenly you think, "Wow! Maybe she was there?""

11:15 p.m. Despite national stories about how everyone in Rhode Island knows everybody else, it's not quite that small. This time, this place, no one I or my daughter and her friends know was at The Station. We have been there, but the club has recently been booking retro metal bands, and it was 15 miles away, too far to go unless we knew somebody in the band and wanted to support them.

But it doesn't matter. We have all imagined and tried not to dwell on the last moments of these poor folks, a literal hell. And we wonder what brought these particular people together at this place at this time to die horrible deaths together. We are all grateful not to be suffering the anguish of those who watch their loved ones fight for life, and those who'll never see their mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, bandmates, friends and lovers again. And our hearts go out to them.

If you lived in West Warwick, an old mill town, The Station was a neighborhood bar with live music, a big deal. If you live in West Warwick, you know someone who's grieving.

And the struggling Rhode Island live-music scene takes yet another blow. Among those listed as missing: Keith Mancini of Fathead, formerly of $kyhigh. Nick O'Neill of Shryne. WHJY DJ Mike "The Doctor" Gonsalves.

Lupo's homepage displays only a photo of a sunset. Probably everybody at The Station had been to Lupo's at least once.

A post in says, "In Milwaukee, Great White's show last month was stopped when the flashpots went off during the first song, and the band was allowed to resume the show only after they were removed -- the club said it had no city pyrotechnics permit for the show. Maybe the Station would've stopped the band, too, if they'd had a chance."

Another notes, "I've read today that pyrotechnics were a part of many bands' shows at the Station, although they were much briefer (maybe a few seconds -- and smaller sparklers. The guy from Dokken was quoted in one account as saying he watched the video, and believes the problem is that the flashpots were filled much too full -- he said the resulting towers of sparks were higher than those his band had used in arena shows."

Dateline NBC was about what you'd expect for a show hastily put together, far away, with few unique resources. Channel 10, the local NBC affiliate, had already scooped the best stuff for the 6 o'clock news -- Heidi, the pregnant girlfriend of Ty Longley, who was reported dead on Great White's site, poring over the family photo album with his parents; former Station bouncer Mario Giamei Jr. of Sutton, Mass., recalling a roadie for Great White saying, as the flames broke out, "I think I'm in trouble, I think I'm in big trouble, I f*ed this one."

So they went with the headline and angle, "Who's to blame?" as though there were an answer. After a shot of buses that carried the families of the victims to the scene, the show ended up doing a fairly lame segment on Crowd safety: Get out alive.

CNN: Where Great White used pyrotechnics on their North American Tour (Jan. 9 - Feb. 14)

The Guardian (UK): Its reporter in Washington writes "Murder charges may be brought against those held responsible for the Rhode Island nightclub blaze caused by a fireworks display last week, which killed 96 people."

6:39 p.m. Missing band member's girlfriend to be on Dateline NBC at 7 p.m.: Great White guitarist Ty Longley's girlfriend Heidi, who's pregnant with their first child, is to be on Dateline NBC tonight at 7 p.m. EST, according to the news page at his site and Channel 10, the Providencel NBC affiliate.

Longley among the dead? At Jack Russell's Great White site: "We have learned that Ty Longley has been identified as one of the people that passed away in West Warwick."

LA Daily News: Northridge musician (Longley) was on first tour with Great White

6:24 p.m.

19 of the 97 dead identified so far: Alfred Crisostomi of Providence, 38; Lori Durante of West Warwick, 40; James Gahan of Falmouth, Mass., 21; Michael Hoogasian of Cranston, 31; Lisa Kelly of Swansea, Mass., 27; Keith Lapierre of Worcester, Mass., 29; John Longiaru of Johnston, 23; Judith Manzo of North Providence, 37; Donald Roderiques of Main Pawanik, Mass. , 46; Joseph Rossi of Seekonk, Mass., 35; Shawn Sweet of Pembroke, Mass., 28; Jason Sylvester of Coventry, 24; Andrew Hoban, 22, of North Kingstown; Dale Latulippe, 46, of Carver, Mass.; Stephen Libera, 21, of Rhode Island; Catherine O'Donnell, 26, of Seekonk, Mass.; Robert Reisner, 29, of Coventry; Bridget Sanetti, 25, of Coventry; Dennis Smith, 36, of Pawtucket.

5:27 p.m.

Message threads at's In the News bulletin board:

"Comments from a survivior of the station fire"
"Band says show must go on"
Many more threads has a post from a survivor (scroll down to Saturday's news) and a condolence book.

Google cache of The Station home page
Message board, with condolences

Newsgroup links go to Google Groups links. You may use a news client to subscribe directly to usenet newsgroups for the latest posts, or try an url such as news:alt.rhodeisland

alt.rhodeisland: The station and its aftermath

alt.gossip.celebrities: The R.I. Club Fire -Who's To Blame?

Threads on "gerbs" (the pyrotechnics used at the station)
At,, rec.pyrotechnics

Video at Channel 10: Precedent for fireworks?

(Lawrence, Mass.) Eagle-Tribune: Pyrotechnics used at club by area musician: "A Methuen, Mass., musician who said he played The Station several times said his band also used pyrotechnics, without a permit but with the club's permission. " The band is Lovin' Kry.

From AP:

Band used similar pyrotechnics in Allentown

2/22/2003 14:05 ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) The rock band whose pyrotechnic display triggered a fire that killed at least 96 people in Rhode Island used similar fireworks without a permit at a Pennsylvania nightclub, a manager said.

Kiss: Pyro here to stay at big rock concerts, but not clubs

2/22/2003 11:48 NEWARK, N.J. (AP) Pyrotechnic displays have become as much a part of rock concerts as guitars and drums, and will continue to be used despite the Rhode Island nightclub tragedy, according to the band that uses more of them than anybody.

Links by the staff

Post condolences in a special online guestbook set up in honor of the fire victims

Victims: (401) 462-7111, manned by the state Emergency Management Agency
Rhode Island Hospital: (401)444-4005 and (401)444-3763
Kent County Hospital: (401) 737-7000, ext. 1395
Outreach/support services for victims' families: West Warwick Dept. of Human Services, (800) 652-4450

Updates from (reg. req.)
Updates from The Associated Press
Send in fire news tips:

Video: Shot inside the club as the fire was starting

The Smoking Gun: The band Great White's performance rider contains no mention whatsoever of pyrotechnics being used during the rock group's current tour of clubs and small theaters

The band and club

Great White band site (bandwidth appears to be clogged or site has been taken down)
Google cache of the home page
Photos of Great White at The Station, April 5, 2000
Google cache of that page
Jack Russell's Great White site - Tour dates
A message allegedly from Jack Russell at Channel 10:

To our fans:
I personally would like to express my heartfelt condolences to those families of the love ones who perished as well as Ty, our guitarist's family, in the tragedy at the Station last night.

We will continue our Tour with a replacement guitarist sometime in the next few days.

Great White will continue the tour as soon as possible.

The Doctor, WHYJ radio disc jockey, who introduced the Great White band and was reported among the missing

Ty Longley's site

Clubs tell of Great White's use of pyrotechnics

• The giant sparklers called "gerbs"

Statement from The Station owners

Links from Al Tompkins at Poynter:

Hospitals handling fire cases (reg. req.)

State and town agencies

R.I. state fire marshal

Town of West Warwick

West Warwick Fire Department

Fires and fire safety

Worst U.S. fires and explosions

Restaurant / discotheque fires around the world

National Institute of Standards and Technology: Building and Fire Research Laboratory

U.S. Fire Administration

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