Jack Russell ‘Still in Therapy’ Over Great White Club Fire
Jack Russell says he’s still receiving therapy over the club fire that killed 100 people during a Great White show in 2003. He doesn’t believe he’ll ever fully recover from the tragedy – and he doesn’t think he should either.
Guitarist Ty Longley was one of the people who lost his life when the Station venue in West Warwick, R.I., burst into flames on Feb. 20, 2003. It was later concluded that the band’s pyrotechnics had ignited soundproofing panels that didn’t meet safety standards. Great White – who split with singer Russell in 2010 – paid $1 million in compensation to the victims’ families in 2008.
Russell told SiriusXM’s Trunk Nation that he "lost a lot of friends. You play a place twentysomething years and you meet a lot of people. You get to know a lot of people and they become your friends. It’s still really hard for me. I’m still in therapy over it. It’s something that’s never going to go away – nor should it, out of respect."
He said he still cries over the incident. "I have days where I just bawl my head off," he said. "Some days the sun comes up and I’m sitting on the back of my boat, and I realize there’s 100 people that won’t ever see that again.”
The singer, who’s previously discussed suffering from survivors’ guilt, said the tragedy had helped inspire two songs, “Anything for You” and “How Far Is Heaven?” He added that he’d lost friends in the blaze without even being aware that they’d been in the crowd. “A friend flew in from Sacramento, of all places,” he said. “Why would you fly across the country for a little dinky show? I didn’t even know.”
Jack Russell’s Great White released their debut album, He Saw It Comin’, in January, preceded by a video for their track “Sign of the Times.” Meanwhile, Great White themselves continue behind vocalist Terry Ilous, who’s been a member since replacing Jani Lane in 2010. The parties settled a lawsuit over the band name in 2013.
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