Surviving members of the rock band Great White will embark on a nationwide tour to raise money for families of victims of the Rhode Island nightclub fire that killed 99 people. Attorney Ed McPherson said Great White would perform with other rock bands and donate their percentage of the profits to existing charities in Rhode Island.
“Their thoughts from the beginning have been, ‘What are we going to do to help the victims?’ And the only thing they do is perform.” McPherson said. Plans for the tour were being worked out, McPherson said, but he added that two groups that may take part are Warrant and LA Guns.
The attorney made the announcement last night (April 29) outside West Hollywood’s Key Club, before the first public performance by Great White guitarist Mark Kendall and lead singer Jack Russell since the deadly Feb. 20 fire at The Station in West Warwick, R.I. Investigators suspect the band’s pyrotechnics ignited foam that had been placed on the club’s walls for soundproofing. A grand jury is investigating.
Along with several other Los Angeles rock bands, the pair agreed to perform in honor of Great White guitarist Ty Longley, who died in the fire. Concert organizers said proceeds would be donated to a charity supervised by Longley’s family and earmarked for a scholarship assistance program and trust fund for the 31-year-old musician’s unborn child.
In addition to founding members Kendall and Russell, Great White’s current lineup includes bass player Dave Filice and drummer Eric Powers. Hours before the Great White members were to perform, about 100 ticket holders, flanked by nearly a dozen reporters and photographers, milled about the club. Most said they came to honor the memory of friends who died in the blaze.
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