Of all the bands in the world that MIGHT want to be careful putting their fans’ lives at risk, you would think that Great White would be extra cautious. They are after all the band that played the fateful 2003 Station Nightclub show in West Warwick, Rhode Island that killed 100 people after the club ignited due to the band’s pyrotechnics. Included in the dead was the band’s own guitarist, Ty Longley.
But, apparently they are still idiots, playing a recent concert in Dickinson, North Dakota where there was no social distancing, no masks, and a packed crowd standing shoulder to shoulder. (See video, above.)
In response to the backlash, the band released this statement:
“Great White would like to address our Thursday, July 9, at the First On First Dickinson Summer Nights concert in North Dakota. We understand that there are some people who are upset that we performed this show, during this trying time. We assure you that we worked with the Promoter. North Dakota’s government recommends masks be worn, however, we are not in a position to enforce the laws.
“We have had the luxury of hindsight and we would like to apologize to those who disagree with our decision to fulfill our contractual agreement. The Promoter and staff were nothing but professional and assured us of the safety precautions. Our intent was simply to perform our gig, outside, in a welcoming, small town.
“We value the health and safety of each and every one of our fans, as well as our American and global community.
“We are far from perfect.”
Great White‘s original lead singer and current leader of Jack Russell’s Great White, has taken a different approach. In an interview with Austria’s Mulatschag Russell stated:
“I don’t know what everybody else out there is thinking — they may think I’m full of it — but I take this very seriously. It’s no small wonder that when you open all these places up, ‘Gee, the numbers [of coronavirus cases] rose up.’ It’s, like, what did you think was gonna happen? It’s, like, ‘I took my mask off and I got COVID.’ Well, what a big surprise that is.
“The numbers, the way it works out, if I just wear [my mask], I’m not that safe. If you put yours on too, I’m 70 percent safe as opposed to being zero-point-something [safe]. It’s amazing the amount that it changes. It’s, like, if you don’t wanna help yourself, help everybody else. ‘Well, it’s my right. It’s my human right.’ Well, look, dude, you’ve gotta pay for your car to get smogged, you’ve gotta have a seat belt, you have a driver’s license, you have to have a license to be born, you have to have a marriage license. I mean, so you have to wear a mask for a while so you don’t die. What’s the problem?”