For the first time since the fire at Great White's February 20th show in Warwick, Rhode Island, singer Jack Russell reached out to fans via a Web post today on mistabone.com. The fire killed ninety-nine people, including Great White guitarist Ty Longley. Russell wrote:
"I could not keep silent for one more night. I have been quietly reading your posts for the last 6 weeks. The love, support, and encouragement that most of you have expressed to us, both on this site, and personally has been overwhelming. Some of your posts have literally taken me through the darkest days and nights I have ever known, and I just wanted to say thank you on behalf of all of us for taking the time to let us know you are out there, encouraging us to keep doing what we do.
"Words will not now, nor will they ever, begin to express the sorrow we are all feeling not only for the loss of our Ty, but for everyone that was affected by this terrible tragedy. I just couldn't let one more day go by without saying thank you to those of you that have always been more than fans, even more than friends, more like family to all of us.
"God bless all of you."
The surviving members of Great White -- Russell, Mark Kendall, Eric Powers and Dave Filice -- will perform together for the first time since the catastrophe when they play one song at Los Angeles' Key Club on April 29th. Proceeds from the show will go to Longley's family.
"They're all going through a tough time, obviously," Paul Woolnough, the group's manager, told Rolling Stone last week. "This will probably be the hardest song any of them have ever performed."