GREAT WHITE's management are denying a widely-circulated report that the band are planning on resuming their U.S. tour in the next few days with a replacement guitarist following Thursday night's tragedy in West Warwick, Rhode Island that claimed the lives of 97 people, including GREAT WHITE guitarist Ty Longley. Although stopping short of refuting the authenticity of GW singer Jack Russell's web posting indicating that the band would hit the road again sometime this week, the group's manager has apparently stated that the band are back in Los Angeles and are devastated by the events of last week. "It will take some time for everybody to recover," he reportedly said.
In other news, DOKKEN frontman Don Dokken, who has previously worked as a producer for GREAT WHITE, says that he blames the band for the outcome of Thursday night's horrible events. "I hate to say it. GREAT WHITE's been a friend of mine for 20 years, but they should not be using it," he told the Boston Globe. He said after viewing video from the fire, he was startled to see flames shooting high into the air.
"We didn't even use flames that big when we were doing arenas," he said.
Dokken, currently on the road with WHITESNAKE and THE SCORPIONS, worried that GREAT WHITE had cut corners. He said bands that cannot afford to hire a trained and certified pyrotechnician often use homemade "flash pods" made from lead pipes and electrical wire.
"What you do is pour some gunpowder in it and you get flames," he said. "But it was obviously that whoever poured the gunpowder in overdid it and poured in way too much flash powder."
"They're using a homemade device," he added. "It's been done for 25 years. They can't afford the expense of a band like KISS."
GREAT WHITE were scheduled to play The Webster Theatre in Hartford, Connecticut last night (Feb. 23), and had asked about their plans to use pyrotechnics, said CEO Justine Robertson.
"They did mention it and we said 'absolutely not,' " said Robertson, who said the fire marshal will not allow them in the theater, even though it is "noncombustible," made of concrete. "We have never had it before and we will never allow it. Everybody knows that at my theater."