Home Music Music News

Great White Ask Fans for Aid

Band soliciting money for legal defense

Amid plans for a benefit tour to aid the victims of the fire at
their February 20th Rhode Island show, Great White are asking fans
to help finance their legal defense against the
multi-million-dollar lawsuits stemming from the incident.

A letter addressed to “music fans” and posted on Internet metal
radio station KNAC.com (it has since been pulled from the site)
solicits donations to the Great White Trust. “The sole purpose of
this Trust,” the letter explains, “is to allow friends and fans of
Great White, music fans in general, and other musicians to donate
to a legal fund, to at least allow the band to have proper
representation so that they can defend themselves. This Trust is
not to be used for any purpose other than covering costs associated
with the criminal and civil proceedings. If any funds are left
after the legal costs are covered, they will be disbursed to one or
more of the charities set up to benefit the victims and their

The letter instructs prospective donors to contact Great White’s
attorney Ed McPherson for more information about the trust. When
contacted by Rolling Stone, McPherson confirmed the
trust’s authenticity, but distanced himself from it. “I have
nothing to do with the fund,” he said, adding that “the text of the
letter might upset some of the victims and their families.”

The fund’s administrator is Great White’s business manager,
Margaret Robley, according to McPherson. The address listed for
donors to send contributions is that of her office. Robley,
however, declined comment about the trust, saying that she needed
to consult with McPherson.

The most significant legal action pending against Great White,
whose use of pyrotechnics set off the blaze at the Station
nightclub, is a federal lawsuit filed April 22nd in U.S. District
Court in Providence. The multi-million-dollar suit, filed by two
survivors of the fire and the family of one of the deceased, also
names as defendants Great White’s management, Knight Records, the
Station’s owners, pyrotechnics manufacturer Luna Tech, foam
manufacturer American Foam, the concert’s sponsors Clear Channel
Entertainment and Anheuser-Busch, the town of West Warwick, and the
state of Rhode Island.

One hundred people, including Great White guitarist Ty Longley,
are now dead as a result of the fire.

Great White singer Jack Russell announced the benefit tour at an
April 29th show to raise money for Longley’s family. “It’s been
very hard on us, needless to say,” Russell said from the stage of
Los Angeles’ Key Club. “If this has taught me anything, it’s taught
me how fragile life is. We’re going on a benefit tour this summer
to help families of this tragedy, and this is just the beginning of
the help that these people are going to get from Great White.”


Powered by