Killer Show: The Station Nightclub Fire, America’s Deadliest Rock Concert
John BarylickPaper: $24.95
Barylick has created a modern cautionary tale that will take your breath away.
In Killer Show, John Barylick sifts an abundance of clear, convincing, and frightening evidence in what is perhaps the definitive account of the Station nightclub fire. And he demonstrates that the greatest tragedy here was that it didn't need to happen.
The fascinating book probes into every conceivable detail leading up to, during and after the fire, creating a convincing case for culpability by the rockers, their manager, the local official and the Derdarian brothers, who owned The Station and did everything they could to cut operating expenses and maximize box office, including lying to booking agents about the club’s capacity.
Station fire survivor Victoria Potvin Eagan says, "I kind of thought I knew everything there was to know" about the fire and the people who were in it. As the founder of the Station Family Fund and head of the Station Memorial Foundation, she fields a lot of questions about that night, and so she says, "I’ve made it my mission to know everything there is about everyone." Barylick’s book, however, "even surprised me-there were definitely some facts I wasn’t aware of." Eagan says four or five personal stories of survivors have been published so far, but that Barylick’s book is "very detailed ... extremely informative. And written without being sensationalized, which is what I appreciated." She says she’s given countless interviews all over the world, and is always asked what really happened. "Next time I’m asked that question, I’m just referring them to that book.
On February 20, 2003, the deadliest rock concert in U.S. history took place at a roadhouse called The Station in West Warwick, RI. The story of the fire, its causes and its legal and human aftermath is captured in Killer Show: The Station Nightclub Fire, America’s Deadliest Rock Concert (University Press of New England; Hardcover), the first comprehensive exploration of the chain events leading up to the fire, the conflagration itself and the painstaking search for evidence to hold the guilty to account and obtain justice for the victims. Killer Show was written by John Barylick, who for seven years was a lead attorney investigating and prosecuting wrongful-death and personal-injury cases arising from the Station fire. Throughout the book, Barylick offers multiple story arcs to demonstrate how greed and negligence sparked the horrific fire, and how courage and heroism elevated and bound together survivors, families and rescuers, alike. Part disaster story, part legal drama and part human-interest story, Killer Show offers unprecedented access and shocking detail as it lays bare the entire heartbreakingly tragic story of the Station nightclub fire.
For seven years JOHN BARYLICK was a lead attorney investigating and prosecuting wrongful-death and personal-injury cases arising from The Station fire. He has practiced law in Rhode Island since 1977.