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Great White to tour again: tacky or tribute?

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View Poll Results: What do you think of Great White touring again?
Proper tribute to victims of fire
Tacky way to capitalize on tragedy
Not sure
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Great White to tour again: tacky or tribute?

Old 04-30-03, 03:41 PM
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Great White to tour again: tacky or tribute?

Saw this on www.rollingstone.com -- what do you think? Sympathetic fund-raiser or tacky glorification of tragedy?

Great White Will Tour

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 March 12th 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."
Old 04-30-03, 05:16 PM
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Well, life goes on, I guess. I voted "not sure" because I really don't know how this will work out.

First of all, without looking at the whole situation, simply losing the guitarist was a tragedy, but no reason to shut down the band. After all, the Who proceeded with their concert schedule less than a week after John Entwhistle died, and he was a hell of a lot more important to the Who than Ty Longley was to Great White.

But as we all know, that's not the reason this is controversial.

Sooner or later a band had to face a situation like this. With all the performances every year throughout the world, eventually a disaster like this will take place. A lot of blame was initially placed on the band for using their pyro without permission, and a lot of club owners started a CYA campaign to paint these "washed up" rock bands as a threat to the public. But plenty of incriminating evidence has come out against club owners in general and specifically the owners of The Station, including video of a local KISS tribute band using tons of pyro (and breathing fire) on a weekly basis, and records of improper foam insulation being installed in the stage area.

Great White have already been tried and found guilty in the court of public opinion (the only court that really matters) of being a cheeseball 80's hair metal act. They cannot and should not shoulder the entire responsibility for this tragedy. A tour with Warrant and LA Guns will hopefully play in safer venues (read: larger and better managed) but I imagine it will quickly become apparant that the public will want nothing more to do with them.
Old 05-01-03, 12:00 PM
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Re: Great White to tour again: tacky or tribute?

Originally posted by Sierra Disc

Held at the Key Club, a 400-capacity venue

The nearly sold-out Key Club event
All this coverage and they NEARLY sold-out a 400 seat venue?
Old 05-01-03, 12:31 PM
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Being in Great White is those guy's job. You want they should have no way to make a living?
Old 05-01-03, 12:45 PM
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Honestly I don't think it's that bad a deal. From what I read elsewhere it sounds like their donating their share of the profits to the victims families. To me at least, it seems like this is a better thing to do for them than just a "we're sorry".

Old 05-01-03, 03:19 PM
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I saw some footage of this on CNN Headline News...

I thought audience members holding up lighters during the ballad was a nice touch... that's just asking for trouble

Old 05-01-03, 08:54 PM
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If they do start touring again, I hope they lay off the pyro.

Fireworks - now THAT I would consider tacky.

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