Monday, March 24, 2008

Aftermath: The Station Fire Five Years Later

It sucks that it takes a tragedy to tug at the heart strings of people, to get them to help, to move someone to do the right thing. Tragedy is all around us all the time. Whether it's an abused child you hear about on the news or a beaten, stray dog you see walking down your street, tragedy is never too far away. And when tragedy strikes close to home, it really tends to have lasting effect on your life.

Although I was hundreds of miles away during the Station Nightclub fire, it still made an impact on me. That could have been any night club anywhere in the world. If it happened in my home town, I would have been at that show because I love Great White. It could have been me. It could have been any of us.

Then when tragedy did strike at my local nightclub on December 8, 2004 with the shooting deaths of Dimebag Darrell, Nathan Bray, Erin Halk, and Jeff "Mayhem" Thompson, I was completely devastated. I was supposed to be there. I had friends who were there. It could have been me.

As time passes, it's easy for the rest of the world to forget what happened and go on with their lives. I pass that club almost daily and everytime I look at it, I am always reminded that one of my rock 'n roll heros was murdered there.

That's why I am impressed that even after five years, there was a benefit concert for the victims of the Station Nightclub fire. Hopefully, some of you were able to catch the concert special, Aftermath: The Station Fire Five Years Later, on Vh1 last Sunday. It brought to light that even though it has been five years, victims and families are still struggling from this tragedy.

Ufortunately, the concert was whittled down to just one hour of air time. The event itself was quite monumental. The place was packed and there was an exciting line up of bands: Tesla, Stryper, Eric Martin, Gary Hoey, members of Boston, and Winger just to name a few. I can't say I was impressed with all the performances, but I was very impressed with the magnitude of the event.

Out of all of the performances that I saw, there was only one that really took my breath away: Gretchen Wilson. Leave it to the unabashed redneck woman to blow the socks off of a bunch of rockers! She performed Heart's Straight On and stole the show. If you would have closed your eyes and just listened to her voice, you would have sworn it was Nancy Wilson herself singing. Gretchen Wilson's voice is full of strength and soul; I got goosebumps just listening to her.

If you missed the show last Sunday, you should definitely check your local listings and try to catch it. It's definitely worth an hour of your day.

Please visit for more information on how you can help those still struggling from the aftermath of that fire. Make a donation if you can.

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