Great White’s Jack Russell Performing in New England for First Time Since Tragedy
Jack Russell is finally ready to return to New England, 12 and a half years after a nightclub fire in Rhode Island at the start of a Great White show claimed the lives of 100 people, including the band's guitarist.
Russell hasn't been back since. He says he remains emotional about the 2003 tragedy, which took place when onstage pyrotechnics ignited soundproofing foam on the ceiling of the Station nightclub in West Warwick, R.I.
"There’s people that are still devastated — I’m one of them," Russell told Vanyaland. "I’ve got a lot of friends I can’t just pick up the phone and call, and their numbers are still in my phone. And I don’t want to erase them. I still cry, you know? Like 10 times a month, just bawling. I miss my friends, you know?”
Russell's concert -- part of an Aug. 15 event in Mechanics Falls, Maine, called Party in the Pasture Rock Fest -- is not without controversy. Harvest Hill Farms, where Jack Russell's Great White is set to perform, was the site of a fatal accident on a haunted hayride last October. A 17-year-old was killed and 22 others were injured when a Jeep pulling a flatbed haywagon jackknifed on a hill and hit a tree. A grand jury later indicted Harvest Hill Farms on manslaughter and other charges.
Russell's Great White is one of two versions of the band currently on the road. Guitarist Mark Kendall leads a different lineup of the group, which rose to fame in the late '80s with favorites like "Once Bitten, Twice Shy," "Save Your Love" and "Rock Me."
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