Mark Kendall Clarifies A Misunderstanding About Great White And The Station Nightclub Fire
In a recent interview with Sally Steele Rocks! Show guitarist Mark Kendall shared the behind-the-scenes of what happened in the Station nightclub fire. He added that there is a big confusion regarding Great White‘s involvement in the tragic accident.
On February 20, 2003, a deadly fire broke out during a concert of former Great White singer Jack Russell in Rhode Island. The fire caused by pyrotechnics took away the lives of many fans who were there to enjoy the show. The night ended with tragedy, and it came to be known as the fourth deadliest fire in U.S. history.
After the horrific accident, Great White was blamed for using pyrotechnics, and the band members were under scrutiny for causing one of the deadliest fires, and there were a lot of rumors circling around. During a recent conversation, the band’s co-founder, Mark Kendall, shared what really happened on the day of the fire while trying to clear out the misunderstandings.
He said that people misunderstood the role of Great White in the tragic event. The show was former lead vocalist Jack Russell’s solo endeavor, and Great White had never used pyro in their performances; they had lights and a bit of fog, as they never thought blowing up stuff would ensure an excellent show. Kendall shared that people at the show were probably confused because there were banners that read ‘Jack Russell’s Great White.’
Many assumed it was a Great White show, but in reality, he had joined the show to help boost attendance; besides, he didn’t even know any of the guys from Russell’s band. He actually called their manager to check whether the flyer mentioned Great White, and he found out it did. Mark thought that wouldn’t be a problem, but it ultimately caused confusion, and people targeted Great White while speaking about the tragedy.
Mark Kendall’s words to clarify the misunderstanding of The Station nightclub fire:
“I think people misunderstood, thinking Great White uses pyro because we’ve never used it before. And the main reason is we’re not a spectacle kind of band. Just give us a lot of lights, maybe a little fog on the ballad and girls backstage. That’s the end of Great White. We don’t blow stuff up and whatnot. So it was strange. But it was Jack’s solo thing. All the merchandise he had was all Jack Russell — Jack Russell CD, Jack Russell t-shirt, the picture behind us.
And when I went out there, I did not even realize. After I did three or four shows, I saw a flyer that said ‘Jack Russell’s Great White.’ I even called the manager; I go, ‘You’re calling it Jack Russell’s Great White?’ I go, ‘Whatever. That’s cool.’ But the night of the accident, they put ‘Great White’ on the marquee, and that’s where the confusion came. But I didn’t know anyone in Jack’s solo band; I just met them for the first time on that tour.”
You can watch the interview below.