The night of February 20, 2003 was a dark one for music fans. A massive fire at a club in Rhode Island claimed the lives of 100 concertgoers who were attending a concert from metal band Great White. The details were the stuff of horror: The club, filled over capacity for the show, became nearly impossible to get out of, the exits bottle-necked with fans rushing to escape the fire.
Now, in a new, sad chapter to the story, it appears someone is attempting to capitalize from the tragedy. An ad, posted on Dallas Craigslist, claims to be selling Great White's instruments from that tragic concert.
The ad, posted on Monday, claimed the instruments were "not in the best condition," among other things:
Selling the guitars and amps or what's left of them from the notorious great white show that went up in flames years ago These instruments are not in the best condition but are a small piece of history for all you head banging metal fans. They could be worth a fortune someday when Great White gets inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Just think what Jimi Hendrix guitar or keep Moon's drums would be worth now
It's not clear whether the ad, which has now been removed from Craigslist, was actually selling the damaged Great White equipment (in which case, how the hell did this person get it?) or just a sick, callous joke.
The tone of the advertisement would seem to suggest that this "memorabilia" is probably not authentic. The crass "not in the best condition" comment indicates this is more of a tasteless put-on, as do the cheeky reference to Great White joining the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and comparisons with Jimi Hendrix and "Keep Moon."
Before the ad was taken down, we attempted to contact the person who had posted it, but we have not received a response.
Either way, there's nothing funny about this fire, which took place at a club called The Station in West Warwick, Rhode Island. The band's manager had shot off pyrotechnics (which were only allowed to be shot off outdoors) during the very first song, and the venue quickly caught fire.
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In the tragedy that ensued, 100 of the 462 people in attendance were killed and a further 230 were seriously injured. (Great White guitarist Ty Longley was among the casualties.)
H/t to Village Voice music editor Hilary Hughes on the story.
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