Fire department distances itself from 9-11 benefit
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Glenwood Springs fire chief Mike Piper said he’s uncomfortable with the way Carbondale music promoter Brian Taylor is promoting a Saturday 9-11 benefit concert at Two Rivers Park.Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association executive director Marianne Virgili was surprised that the Chamber is listed as one of the event’s sponsors. But Taylor, who owns Saturn Records and Infexious Recordz, insists he’s legitimate, and that his show, which has been advertised in fliers with the headline “9-11 ALERT,” is an honest attempt to remember the tragic day and give money to local fire departments. “It’s not a scam,” Taylor said. “They’re getting 10 percent of the gross, and if there are over 2,000 people, we’ll add another 5 percent.” According to fliers, the show will feature Journey tribute band Lights and several other “national act” bands. Tickets cost $15, and the show is set to begin at 5 p.m. The fliers also frame the event as a “fund-raising event” and say “part of proceeds support local fire and rescue.”Piper said he was first approached several weeks ago by Taylor’s wife, Debbie, who asked the chief if he would like to receive some money from the concert. “Debbie Taylor called and said they’re having a 9-11 concert to support the firefighters in New York,” Piper said.Piper said he was told the Glenwood Springs Fire Department would get 10 percent of the gate. He agreed to take a donation, but Piper said he’s since become uncomfortable having his department’s image associated with the event. “All I said was, ‘Fine, if you want to give us money,’ ” Piper said. “I’ve got a feeling we’ve kind of just been taken. They could give us a buck.” The concert is a for-profit event, and it’s unclear how the money will be counted and who will determine what 10 percent of the gate is, Piper said.One of his record company’s employees, the security company he hired and Glenwood Springs police will count the money, Taylor said.But Taylor’s assurances apparently weren’t good enough, so Piper asked that the Glenwood Springs Fire Department be completely detached from the event. “It’s just people taking advantage of a situation that’s still near and dear to people’s hearts,” he said. “I have no contract with them and no agreements. … I think the way it’s being promoted is kind of shaky. I don’t want to be a part of a fund-raising scam. Something’s up with this thing and it’s starting to stink a little bit.”Virgili also wanted to make it clear that the Chamber is in no way associated with the event. “All we know is they did come to us for help with a liquor license, but we are not an official sponsor,” she said. The Chamber often helps groups obtain liquor licenses for events in the city, Virgili said. After Piper requested that the Glenwood Springs Fire Department be detached from the event, Taylor called the Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District and asked if it would take the 10 percent. Carbondale deputy chief Carl Smith said he’d take the donation, but that was the extent of their conversation. Taylor said his record company is only trying to put on a positive show in Glenwood Springs that will include remembrances of the victims of the 9-11 terrorist attacks. “We are just trying to do it for the cause of fire and rescue,” Taylor said. “Glenwood should be happy to have such a stout lineup of musicians coming.”Contact Greg Massé: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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