Photo by Jarrod Vrazel : zrock.com
Great White’s Jack Russell and Mark Kendall brought the Blues and Boogie to Houston Saturday night. Great White have announced more tour dates to benefit the victims and survivors of The Station nightclub fire in Rhode Island. Proceeds go directly to The Station Family Fund.
Current dates of the tour to benefit the Station Family Fund include:
Mar. 06 – Houston, TX @ Cardi’s
Mar. 13 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Phat Tire Saloon
Mar. 14 – Denver, CO @ Hollywood Legends
Mar. 15 – Las Vegas, NV @ Palms Hotel & Casino
Mar. 17 – Fargo, ND @ Playmaker’s
Mar. 18 – Hudson, WI @ Dibbo’s
Mar. 19 – Hurley, WI @ Studio Of The Stars
Mar. 20 – Regal, MN @ County Line Roadhouse
Mar. 22 – Minot, ND @ Original Bar & Night Club
Mar. 26 – Mount Clemens, MI @ Hayloft Liquor Stand
Jun. 19 – Des Moines, IA @ Waterworks Park
Jul. 17 – Pine Bluff, AR @ Lakeview Aphitheatre
Aug. 12 – Seattle, WA @ Fenix / Fenix Underground
Aug. 13 – Napavine, WA @ Napavine Amphitheatre
Aug. 14 – Three Forks, MT @ Rockin The Rivers
Aug. 15 – Bellingham, WA @ The Royal Room
The Station Family Fund (SFF) was founded by survivors and family members affected by The Station nightclub fire of February 20, 2003. The SFF is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization, which received approval from the IRS on November 4, to operate as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The SFF was founded to offer assistance and relief to people directly affected by the fire at The Station nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island.
Every dollar raised by the Station Family Fund, Inc. will go directly to address the needs of the survivors and the families of victims. Administrative and overhead expenses will be paid solely from donations solicited for this specific purpose.
The Station Family Fund will also coordinate free legal, financial advisory, and counseling services; and will help identify and access resources which may be available through federal and state agencies or other non-governmental organizations.
The Station Family Fund will provide immediate short-term relief and services as well as long-term support, and will serve the needs of the survivors and victims families that may arise in the future.
Total Money Raised:
As of February 27, 2004 $239,907.18
Total funds distributed $218,760.65
Donations to the Station Family Fun can be made online at http://www.stationfamilyfund.org or by mail at Station Family Fund, 300 Quaker Lane, P.O. Box 214, Suite 7, Warwick, RI 02886.
Russell finds a reason for Great White to carry on
By MICHAEL D. CLARK
Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle
Published March 6, 2004
Great White lead singer Jack Russell could have become a self-destructive rock-star clich .
He’s mired in litigation and racked with guilt and lacks words when asked to describe his feelings about the Rhode Island club fire that killed 100 fans. Rockers have escaped to the bottle over less
But something unexpected happened to Russell during the past year. The me, me, me attitude and the sex, drugs and Rock N Roll mantra that helped make Great White hair-metal darlings in the late 80s, have given way to grace and compassion.
Those may not be typical Rock N Roll virtues, but they are why Russell has kept Great White active. The group comes to Cardi’s tonight not to relive the glory of hits like Once Bitten Twice Shy but to make money for the Station Family Fund, a nonprofit organization benefiting the victims and survivors of the fire.
I’m out here on the road and talking to you against the advice of my lawyers, but this is not about protecting my ass, Russell says. Material things don’t mean crap to me anymore. This is about supporting the people whose friends and families supported us for so many years.
I’m not saying I’m a monk now, but my life has changed forever.
On Feb. 20, 2003, the Station club in West Warwick, R.I., was packed shoulder-to-shoulder with 300 metal fans when onstage fireworks ignited the club during Great White’s first song of the night. The fire engulfed the building in three minutes.
Among the dead was Great White guitarist Ty Longley. Another 180 were treated for burns or other injuries resulting from the frantic scramble to escape.
Finger-pointing and litigation followed the fire. The Station’s owners, Jeffrey and Michael Derderian, said Great White did not have permission to use fireworks. Russell and his band said the fireworks had been approved.
Lawsuits have been filed and await resolution. In December Great White’s tour manager, Dan Biechele, and the Derderian brothers were indicted by the Rhode Island attorney general’s office on 200 counts of involuntary manslaughter (two counts apiece for each person killed in the blaze). Each count carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison under Rhode Island law.
Great White members were not charged because, says band attorney Ed McPherson, it was Biechele who was responsible for contractual agreements.
The band did not always know from night to night when they would use pyro, McPherson said in December.
The band still faces civil suits.
Russell says that while he doesn’t think the band is to blame, the anguish is taxing.
There hasn’t been a day since that I haven’t shed a tear, he says. I wake up and see a sunrise and start to cry because there are 100 people that aren’t going to see that.
Shortly after the tragedy Russell considered shutting down Great White altogether. With the loss of Longley and the horrific event fresh in his mind, he didn’t know how he would feel about going back onstage or how people would feel about him.
But Russell has been humbled by the positive response. Nearly $240,000 has been raised for the Station Family Fund. Besides concert and merchandise revenues, auctions of autographed Great White instruments and other events raise money. Russell says he earns meager living expenses from the shows.
Russell now takes more interest in the exit routes and safety of the clubs where he plays.
I go to restaurants now, and I’m looking for the fire extinguisher, Russell says. There are fire extinguishers everywhere in my house now. You have to be conscious of it because the laws make us feel like we’re protected, but it’s not true. It’s not true.
For the 1,000th time, no, says Cardi’s co-owner Monica Kalbis when asked if there will be fireworks at the show. Accidents do happen in clubs, but we are the safest we can possibly be.
Great White was never the best-known glam-rock band of all time. Even at its peak, peers like Whitesnake and Guns N Roses had more success. Russell realizes that before anyone mentions its music, Great White will always be known as the band whose pyrotechnics started a catastrophic fire.
He doesn’t care, as long as he can continue playing in an effort to help those who lost.
This all has changed my perception of life. Family, friends, my dogs, everything means so much more to me now, Russell says. You have to take the cards you’re dealt and ask yourself, `What kind of man are you? Are you going to do something positive with this?
This is never going to go away, and I don’t want it to.
Great White performs tonight at Cardi’s, 9301 Bissonnet, in Houston.
The controversial GREAT WHITE CD Burning House of Love , released without the band’s authorization, will no longer be for sale, according to Rhode Island’s News Channel 10.
The record company and the distributors plan to pull the CD as soon as possible, News Channel 10 reported Wednesday (March 24).
The GREAT WHITE CD was the first to be released since The Station nightclub fire. Many felt that the label that released the recording, Horizon Italy, picked the title to cash in on the West Warwick tragedy.
The manager for GREAT WHITE said the band had nothing to do with the unauthorized release. He said as soon as band members found out about it, they started legal action. The band’s attorney said he was looking into whether the label that released the recording, Horizon Italy, had the legal rights to the recordings.
Reached by phone in Los Angeles on Wednesday, GREAT WHITE manager Obi Steinman told News Channel 10 the band is relieved the CD will be removed.
This is just somebody’s attempt to make a dollar. The record companies are claiming that they didn’t know, and I am going to stand by that, and I appreciate their quick response. And at this time, both labels have said that they are going to pull the record, Steinman said.
Less than 1,000 copies of the CD have been sold
The Associated Press reports: A federal judge ruled Monday that civil suits stemming from The Station nightclub fire will be heard in federal court.
U.S. District Judge Ronald Lagueux said the court will exercise jurisdiction under a federal law that gives the federal court system authority in cases involving an accident in which at least 75 people died and a defendant resides in a different state than where the accident occurred.
Lagueux’s decision also indicated the court intends to consolidate all nightclub fire lawsuits for the discovery phase of the trial, in which lawyers for both sides exchange information. One lawyer involved in the litigation said because of the complexity of the cases, they are unlikely to remain consolidated for trial.
At least four suits have already been filed in the courts in Rhode Island, and others have been filed in Connecticut and Massachusetts. All have been on hold while Lagueux considered the issue of jurisdiction. More suits are expected.
In the past, Lagueux has indicated he probably will ask the U.S. Court of Appeals to review his decision.
GREAT WHITE URGES ALL NOT TO PURCHASE THE RECENT ALBUM RELEASED UNDER THEIR NAME ON HORIZON-ITALY RECORDS ALBUM IS NOT A LEGITAMATE GREAT WHITE RELEASE BAND CONDEMNS RELEASE – ALBUM TITLE IS IN POOR TASTE Hollywood, CA (March 18th 2004) The label Horizon Italy has recently released an unapproved album titled Burning House of Love. This album is not approved by GREAT WHITE. Rather the band condemns this release and asks all fans and friends to not purchase this album. They feel that the label is insensitive to the victims of the fire and are trying to capitalize on a tragic situation. This type of practice is called repackaging; Record Companies take previously released songs, put on a new cover with a new title. The band and their Attorneys are working on stopping this release, as it is being sold under the GREAT WHITE name without GREAT WHITE’s permission. GREAT WHITE wants to apologize for any discomfort this may have caused, as they found out about this release much the same way as the fans via the internet. It was of great shock to the GW camp. – said theloudestrock on Mar 03, 2004
It is a good CD, but of course I bought it before the RI Tragedy. I bought it under the Final Cuts title. Great White is one of the few bands that really rock when it comes to cover songs. Like the Great Zepplin CD! Terrific! – said theloudestrock on Mar 03, 2004
Saw them last friday (03-26-04) here in Detroit, they were awesome once again on the stage… . Kendall is a God! & Jacks voice sounded excellent! 😀 – said lugnut on Mar 03, 2004