2008 Station Nightclub Benefit Concert - The Story Behind The Story
I thought it very important to write the story behind the story of the 2008 Station Nightclub Concert to benefit the families of the Station Nightclub fire victims.
Last week I got a call from Pete a VH1 producer to see if I was available to be a camera operator for a TV special to be aired this coming Easter weekend. My job description for the day was very unique and offered me the great opportunity to absorb quite a bit of the love, heart and soul of the music community.
When I arrived at the Dunkin Donut Center in Providence, RI Pete had a plan of action in place for me because of my background both with the rock & roll community and making documentaries. I was to put wireless mic's on the various celebrities performing that evening and accompany them during the day as they spoke with the media, other celebrities, families of the fire victims and burn victims who were lucky enough to get out of that horrible inferno.
The first guy I miked up was Dee Snider and you probably know Dee as a larger than life character, but I got to see a glimpse of a caring, tireless and giving man.
We began our journey weaving through back halls and various offices that were set up for the day and as Dee meet up with people he would outpour just a friendly warm feeling to all. But his real agenda was to see what everyone needed and help them accomplish these needs. Whether it was an interview to set up with another celebrity or moving boxes of t-shirts Dee was right there to help. Who would have known that Dee Snider is such a warm and caring individual to be so deeply involved in other peoples tragedy.
Dee literally contacted most of the musical artists himself that performed that evening. During the day we met up with Carmine Apice, Tom Sholtz, Kip Winger, Mick Foley and many other celebrities who freely gave of their time. One very special person that Dee contacted was country star John Rich whom he is currently on a reality TV show with called Gone Country. Dee asked John if he would be able to commit his time for a performance at the 2008 Station Night Club Concert, well what I learned from various people and my own observation during the day is that John Rich is a man to be admired. First off John said yes and then reached out to his friends country artists Dierks Bentley and Gretchen Wilson to perform as well.
At about 6:00 PM John, Dierks and Gretchen arrived at the venue from Green Airport where they had just flown in on John's private jet. I was introduced to John and his road manager backstage and when I told them of my video agenda for the TV special they were all about it. John said of course anything I can do to help and his road managers response was you have complete access to us for as long as we are here.
The three country stars went from interview to interview telling of the horrific tragedy and urged all to open their hearts and pockets to the Station Family Fund. John did his homework and spoke of the hundred killed, the few hundred burned and then he got silent for a moment, his voice cracked and he spoke of the sixty children who lost one or both parents in the Station fire. Gretchen spoke of both bar tending and getting her musical start in bars like the Station, they were all genuinely concerned for the victims families.
The most compelling piece of video that I captured was an amazing interaction between John, Dierks, Gretchen and Joe a man who was in the Station fire and sustained burns on most of his body. They asked questions of him, listened deeply to him, joked with him and most importantly held him.
I found out later that evening from a woman who is on the board of directors of the Station Family Fund that John Rich gave the largest single donation that they ever received. I also was told by Dee that when John was on the way he phoned from his plane to ask Dee how ticket sales were and when he found out they were slow John purchased fifteen hundred tickets.
John Rich and Dee Snider are very different indeed to the eye but they are kindred spirits in life. They both are genuine stand up people who should be applauded for there caring and giving to others, I was truly touched. Be sure to watch the 2008 Station Nightclub Benefit Concert Special on VH1 over the Easter weekend.
This is the five year anniversary of the Station Nightclub fire and the dedicated men and woman of the Station Family fund continue on with their tireless efforts to help monitarily secure the fire victims and their families so please give what you can to the Station Family fund at http://www.stationfamilyfund.org/.
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