Great White’s Charitable Priorities May Be A Bit Mixed Up

Jan 10th, 2007 // 11 Comments

gw.jpgIt’s been almost four years since the Great White show in Warwick, R.I. that ended in a fire, killing 100 people. The band has announced plans to head out on the road again, which is angering people who had family members killed or injured by the 2003 blaze:

The ’80s nostalgia act is finishing a new album and embarking on a tour with its original lineup to mark its 25th anniversary. The reunited band’s first show is a Janurary 27th benefit at Hollywood’s Key Club to raise money for, a nonprofit dedicated to ending Canadian seal hunting, according to the group’s website.

The new tour comes as the Station Family Fund has run dry after handing out $800,000 to victims’ families for housing costs, medical bills and other expenses. Fund president Victoria Potvin, who escaped the blaze, said the account is empty and the fund is “defunct,” leaving some victims helpless.

“There are people who are going to need assistance for the rest of their lives,” Potvin said.

The seal benefit is the only date currently scheduled on Great White’s tour, although more dates are allegedly on the way. We can’t help but think that this ham-handed attempt at philanthropy seems extremely misguided, if not out-and-out tasteless. Sure, the harp seals that Great White’s show is trying to save are really cute, but it’s hard not to think that the people whose suffering is directly related to Great White’s past actions deserve a benefit of their own–especially now that their coffers have run dry.

Great White Raise Funds…But Not For Fire Victims [KNAC, via No Rock And Roll Fun]


  1. Ned Raggett

    The comments on that story are a bit, erm, convoluted.

  2. Dan Gibson

    I’m not sure what amount of penance is going to make Great White forgivable for what happened that night, but for the sake of Michael and Sandy Hoogasian (, I’d say they should try a little bit more.

  3. Come a little Miroslav Klose You're My Kind of Man

    Oh. Please. There are people that will need to tap that fund for the rest of their lives?


    They were a got-damned building inferno, not a war. Great White’s contribution to their re-entry into polite society — an expression that I’d never have thought to associate with GW fans — should not then be in perpetuity.

    Lump-sum compensation for survivors of the blaze, & inheritors of the deceased, sure — say, 80,000 to 100,000$US each — but lifetime payouts?


    If they’re that impaired, they should be on SSI. & prolly should have been even before the fateful performance.

  4. Nicolars

    Let them eat cake!

  5. BawstonSean

    Where’s Robert Shaw and his harpoon when you need ‘em?

  6. Ned Raggett

    Who knew Rush Limbaugh was a commenter?

  7. noamjamski

    To be fair to the Station survivors, I do remember Jack Russell saying this quote in 2003: “If not for the Station Family Fund, I don’t know if this band would ever tour again.”

    I was going to do quick Google research but the article on KNAC did it for me and re-printed the quote.

    Twenty years later he can ask people to get over it. Four years later, not so much.

    I do feel for the fact that their Stage Manager told them the pyro was ok, even though it blatantly wasn’t. Also one of their guitarists died in the blaze, which isn’t often reported.

    They have stepped up admirably, but if you are telling people you are dedicating the rest of your career to helping them out, and they see you are doing a benefit to help baby seals, I can see why they would be a little put off. Let the Bulletboys help the seals, if you aren’t raising money for rent, raise it for the people who you melted in the fire.

  8. Dan Gibson

    Band’s pyro kills a hundred people.
    Band leader says the charitable fund started afterwards is what he lives for.
    Band plays for harp seals.

    Makes perfect sense, Nicolae. I can’t imagine what I ever was offended for.

  9. O.D.B. McDowell

    great white’s mistake here is that baby seals don’t have family members capable of complaining to the press.

    not saying that they shouldn’t continue to do everything in their power to assist those directly and indirectly involved, but it is worth asking when specifically they get to be off the hook. ok, four years isn’t enough. how about eight? twelve?

  10. Steve518

    I would attend a Great White benefit show only if they played poolside.

  11. Dan Gibson

    If Great White would have just played this show for the benefit of Great White’s pocketbook, I doubt people would be so salty about the affair. The fact they’re playing for seals (really, seals?) instead of a charity they should have a little more of a connection to is what makes it in poor taste.

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