WRUW DJ Stella Salamone (née Cultrona) passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on October 27, 2010. She was 44 years old. The cause of death was determined to be from a bad reaction to pain medication. She was discovered in her home by her sister-in-law unconscious on the afternoon of October 25 and immediately put on life support.
Stella and her husband Mike Salamone co-hosted the oftentimes controversial political talk radio show "Domestic Decay" on WRUW 91.1 FM in Cleveland, Ohio. Before co-hosting the talk show with her husband, Stella was known to metal fans as Stella "The Thrash Queen". Her metal show began airing on WRUW in the mid-1980s and featured music and interviews of underground thrash and death metal bands of the time. Several years later Stella would become the first Cleveland DJ to play grindcore.
"As many of you know, the legendary Stella 'The Thrash Queen' has passed away," says Mike. "She had a huge impact on the metal and punk scenes as well as in the art world and, of course, politics. I am very lucky to not only be a fan of hers, but to be her husband as well. All of us are shocked at this sudden and unexpected event."
"Stella was a self-made woman who followed her heart and dreams to deserve such a high rank among the metal community," says WRUW staff member and friend Jason Parks. "In the male-dominated world of thrash, punk and metal, she was as knowledgeable as anyone I have ever known. Her sudden passing leaves a void never to be replaced."
The couple had no health insurance or savings. A fundraising drive organized by Auburn Records president Bill Peters, who has been friends with Stella for over 25 years, resulted in $2,400 being collected in just 24 hours to pay off all funeral and memorial service expenses upfront.
"I'd like to thank everyone for the tremendous support you've given," adds Mike. "It is overwhelming and is a great tribute to the impact Stella had on so many people. We can't thank you enough."
Stella's first radio appearance was on Peters' WUJC (a.k.a. WJCU) "Metal On Metal" show as a guest DJ in her late teen years. She loved the experience so much she decided to pursue her own radio career a couple of years later at WRUW.
A memorial service to celebrate the life of Stella Salamone will take place on November 6 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST at the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland, Ohio. Bands performing will be THE PLAGUE (ex-CHROME KICKERS), THE ANTI-SOCIALISTS (featuring Mike Salamone), DESTRUCTOR, RED GIANT and BREAKER. The groups were some of Stella's favorites over the years and personally invited by Mike to play.
"Funerals are depressing," states Mike. "Stella would rather people get together and celebrate her life. Everyone is invited to join family, friends and fans in Stella's honor at the Beachland on Saturday, November 6. She was a great woman and an inspiration to many."
Funds are needed to assist with Stella's hospital and medical expenses. Donations can be dropped off at the memorial service or sent as follows: PayPal to [email protected] (mark "personal"; select "gift").
Flyer art designed by Alex Yarborough (donations) and Germany's Claudia von Bihl (memorial service).