GREAT WHITE's Charitable U.S. Tour Is A No-Go

The proposed nationwide tour featuring GREAT WHITE, L.A. GUNS and XYZ to raise money for families of the victims of the Rhode Island tragedy has been canceled.

The trek, which was to cover 55 cities, was called off due to the bands' inability to get proper insurance for the tour.

Explained L.A. GUNS bassist Adam Hamilton, "Before we could do the tour] certain issues had to be worked out. First, a fund had to be established to make sure victims and victims' families would receive money raised. This was incredibly difficult and took a lot longer than was expected. After this was accomplished, the next issue involved getting tour insurance for GREAT WHITE. This was even more difficult because of the tragedy. Unfortunately, this was not possible. Every effort was made to try and make this happen. The bottom line is that without insurance, they cannot play certain venues."

XYZ singer Terry Ilous had this to say: "We are very disappointed. We were looking forward to do this tour and were all set to go. We really thought this memorial charity tour was a great idea, since so many people got affected by the Station fire tragedy. As far as touring this summer we are working on other possibilities and hope to be on the road by the end of July."

Ed McPherson, an attorney for the band, told the Associated Press earlier this month that GREAT WHITE are still paying off debts from their last tour, which ended after the Feb. 20 fire at The Station nightclub. The band members also are named in civil suits stemming from the blaze.

"None of these guys has any money," McPherson said.

The Station Family Fund was set up in Rhode Island as a nonprofit organization to assist survivors of the fire and family members of victims.

Victoria Potvin, a fire survivor and president of the fund, said she reached a deal in late May with a band tour manager to have tour proceeds funneled directly into the fund.

The money was to be used to help survivors and victims' families pay rent, hospital bills, funeral costs, grocery bills and other immediate expenses, Potvin said, adding that as of early June the fund has raised about $5,000 and distributed just over $4,000 to families.

Investigators say the West Warwick fire started when sparks from GREAT WHITE's pyrotechnics display set fire to foam surrounding the nightclub's stage. The flames spread quickly and engulfed the club within minutes.

The fire killed 100 people and injured nearly 200 others. A criminal investigation is pending.

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