At a vigil in downtown Providence, Rhode Island last night, about 4,000 rock 'n' roll fans paid tribute to Mike Gonsalves, the WHJY-FM radio personality known as Dr. Metal who kept them company through the nights, according to The Providence Journal.
People from all walks of life came to the Dunkin' Donuts Center to honor Gonsalves and the 96 other fire victims. Gonsalves, who for close to two decades hosted "The Metal Zone" on Saturday nights, died in the Feb. 20 fire at The Station in West Warwick.
Everyone attending the vigil last night was handed a single red carnation. WHJY staff read the names of the people who died in the fire, lighting a votive candle for each one. Pockets of applause broke out from time to time, with the whole place responding when Gonsalves's name was read.
Gonsalves, like many who died in the fire, held a deep-seated passion for rock 'n' roll in its many forms. METALLICA, LED ZEPPELIN, KISS, AEROSMITH and THE BEATLES ranked as favorite bands. But relative newcomers STAIND, GODSMACK and CREED earned his attention as well.
Gonsalves, 40, of Warwick, had been WHJY's overnight DJ since 1991, playing a blend of classic hits and selections by new bands that struck his ear.
For 17 years, he entertained WHJY listeners on Saturday nights with "The Metal Zone", the longest running heavy-metal radio show in the country. Referred to at the outset of his career as "The Metal Doctor", his name over time was truncated to The Doctor or simply Doc.
Click here to download a tribute song to "The Doctor" set to METALLICA's "Fade To Black".