A charity fund has been founded in memory of Great White guitarist Ty Longley, who died in last week’s West Warwick, R.I., nightclub fire that claimed the lives of 96 others and hospitalized more than 80 people. Created by the band’s label, Knight Records, and Longley’s family, the Ty Longley Foundation “will contribute to many needy causes, including the funds that benefit the victims” of the Feb. 20 tragedy, according to the Encino, Calif.-based independent label’s Web site.
“As well as being a great musician and an amazingly sweet person, he was also my best friend,” label president Paul Woolnough wrote on the site. “Nothing can replace the lives lost and no words can take away the pain that everybody is feeling at this time.”
According to Woolnough, Longley was putting together material for a solo album to be recorded following the end of the Great White tour. “Along with the other people that passed away, his dreams will now never be achieved,” Woolnough wrote.
With Longley’s family’s permission, Knight Records is compiling music the artist recorded, solo and with various musicians. “Ty Longley-Regular Guy” will consist of 12-16 songs, including acoustic performances with Great White lead singer Jack Russell. The disc can be pre-ordered from the label’s site, with all proceeds earmarked for the Ty Longley Foundation.
In addition, Woolnough has pledged that five dollars from every disc ordered through the label’s online store will go to the foundation. Along with Great White and Russell, the label counts the bands Trip and Deeds on its roster.
Contrary to published reports, Great White has no plans to continue its club tour. “Despite all rumors, there are no plans of any kind for continued touring by Great White,” band spokesperson Byron Hontas told Reuters.
As previously reported, the band’s surviving members recently returned to Los Angeles. Each has been subpoenaed and all are expected to testify before a grand jury investigating the fire.