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Great White Will Tour

Summer outing will benefit victim’s families

It was pretty clear that the haze surrounding the stage arrived via
smoke machine, but it appeared ominous anyway, considering the
setting was a benefit concert for Ty Longley, the late guitarist of
Great White. The band is at the center of the controversy
surrounding the West Warwick, Rhode Island, club fire on February
20th that left ninety-nine dead and many injured.

Held at the Key Club, a 400-capacity venue in Los Angeles, last
night’s concert featured the first public performance by any Great
White members since the tragedy; it also served as the forum to
announce Great White’s upcoming benefit tour for the fire
victims.

Great White’s lawyer/spokesman Ed McPherson couldn’t confirm
whether the tour would feature a replacement for Longley. “I don’t
think it’s been discussed,” he said. But McPherson stated that it
is being planned as a multi-band bill, most likely including Great
White’s Eighties hair-metal peers Warrant and L.A. Guns, spanning
over fifty-five dates, with all of Great White’s profits going to
charity.

The nearly sold-out Key Club event featured seven bands —
Samantha 7 (a side project from Poison guitarist C.C. DeVille),
XYZ, 5 Cent Shine, Gravy, Maestro Alex Gregory (featuring Nick of
Megadeth), and the Christy Baerle Band — many of whom featured
Longley at one time.

The show’s most anticipated moment, however, was the rumored
Great White reunion, which turned out instead to be a chair-bound,
one-song set from Great White singer Jack Russell and guitarist
Mark Kendall. Introducing “Mother’s Eyes,” a somber ballad of loss
from Great White’s 1994 album Sail Away, an overcome
Russell paused frequently, tears running down his face.

“Words could never express the pain and sorrow of losing our
guitarist, Ty Longley, and ninety-eight of our other Great White
family members,” said Russell. “It’s been very hard on us, needless
to say. 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. This night is for
the people we’ve lost, not Great White.”

Newswire

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