Killer Show by John Barylick is a great Bugliosi-style book about the Great White concert fire in Rhode Island that killed 100.
This book describes how a group of head-bangers, suffering from various degrees of chemical dependency, and with a collective average IQ of maybe 80, gather, balls to the wall, in a wood-frame roadhouse, lined with dumpster-dived packaging material, and close off all means of facile egress. Then, a washed up loser, with an IQ only slightly above the group average begins to sing about “times gettin’ heavy” and “things gettin’ deadly”, and, sure as fuck, about that time another loser, this time with an IQ considerably lower than the group average, showers red-hot sparks all over the joint. Well, surprise, surprise, surprise, (the denouement, if you will)… this starts a fire and lots of people get fried, along with an appreciable quantity of drugs and alcohol which, though not mentioned in the book, in contemplation, is sure to bring tears to the eyes of the reader. After the fact, people begin to sue anyone they can because they feel that someone must be at fault for the stupidity of their friends and loved ones. What can we learn from this book? 1) if you’re stupid, just stay home 2) do not go places where stupid people congregate 3) should you unwittingly find yourself in such a place, immediately formulate a plan that will insure your rapid removal from same at the drop of a hat 4) at the first hint that your removal would be prudent, do not wait for the hat to hit the floor 5) ROCK ON, MAN!!!
Ok, the previous paragraph was meant to be tongue in cheek humor and not a review at all, but, just as the “advice” was really only a part of that (attempted) humor, yet might truly admonish the general public re: situational awareness.
I didn’t use the media’s catchword for the tragedy, the “Station” fire, (which is really kind of weird to me ’cause it’s not like it was the Fillmore East, seems like the band involved would’ve been more apt) but I hope there haven’t been any other similar events in RI that killed that many people. If so, maybe a verse should be added to “RI is Famous for You.” a great song if you’ve never heard it, clever!
– John Layne Andersen