Great White vocalist Jack Russell and guitarist Mark Kendall have
joined forces for a stripped down club tour in an effort to raise
money for the Station Family Fund, the only fund in Rhode Island
that has been organized by survivors and family members of the
victims of the Station fire to get money directly to other survivors
and family members in need of financial support.
When we spoke
to the band’s longtime guitarist Mark Kendall, he explained that while they are
still deeply saddened by the tragic Rhode Island fire, they pulled the tour and
a band together to help raise money for and awareness of the
Station Family Fund.
“We kind of
stripped it down instead of getting the whole band back together, which we do
want to do in the future – get the original band back together. Right now,
we’re just out touring for this fund, for the
Station Family Fund and the families of the victims. So, we’re
driving in vans and trying to keep the costs really low so more money can go to
I don’t think
I’d even be doing it if it wasn’t for this family fund thing. I wasn’t really
ready to jump out there after that horrific tragedy and everything. It’s kind
of neat that it’s the victims themselves that set up the fund, because they’re
totally non-profit and 100% - all the money goes straight to the families. And,
when I heard that, I got support from all my friends, my wife, everybody said
‘you should do it.’ And, it’s like a healing process for me at the same time.”
says the band’s ultimate goal is to get some bigger bands involved and do a huge
benefit concert, they’re doing all the press and television interviews they can
do to make everybody aware of the fund and the organization’s Web site at
For the tour,
Kendall and Russell are joined by Derrick Pontier, who’d performed on the band’s
live album, as well as Scott Pounds and Jordan Martin, and fans can expect a
lively, extended greatest hits set from the band.
everything everybody wants to hear, we’re throwing in a few surprises, some real
old songs from the first record and stuff - kind of stretching things out,
getting the audience involved. And, we’re trying to make it a fun show.
We’re not out
there hanging our heads, because we did think about that – how we’re going to
act, because it is for the fundraiser and everything. But, we figured why give
less than our best in celebration of the fans that lost their lives and for the
families and everybody, it would just be ridiculous if we just went out there
and bombed,” explained Kendall.
“There is a lot
of grieving still going on with us as well, but we’re trying to do what we think
is the most positive thing we can do, and that’s to go out and play music and
try to raise money for the families of the victims,” he added.
wondering what initially brought Kendall back to the music of Great White, he
explained that while pretty much starting over with a new sound and a new band,
he found it very hard playing the small clubs in Los Angeles and trying to get a
record deal. And even though he loved the music and the musicians he’d been
working with, he ended up putting the project on hold.
that since Jack Russell hadn’t been doing great numbers on the road with his
solo project, he called Kendall out of the blue to see if he would join the
existing solo band, so that they could play under the name Great White. Kendall
signed on as a hired sideman, playing a few scattered shows, which eventually
turned into a tour performing mostly Great White songs along with some of
Russell’s solo material. .
to catch up with the band on the road this weekend, so check back soon for a
show review. As of this week (9/1/03) over $21,000 has been raised from
the Great White tour for the Station Family Fund.
Station Family Fund
300 Quaker Lane
P.O. Box 214
Warwick, RI 02886