Great White frontman JACK RUSSELL will mark the first anniversary of the blaze that destroyed a Rhode Island nightclub during a gig by the band by remembering three pals who lost their lives in the fire.

The group's pyrotechnics show sparked the blaze on 20 February (03) that destroyed THE STATION club and killed 100 rock fans, including Great White's guitarist TY LONGLEY.

Russell says, "I lost three really close friends and 97 other people. If I didn't know them by name, I knew their faces. They were part of our family. My life has been changed forever."

The group have continued touring following the fire, donating proceeds from shows to the STATION FAMILY FUND, which has raised more than $70,000 (GBP38,900) for the families of victims.

Russell adds, "That's a pretty fair chunk of change for a band of our stature. That's 41 shows in clubs, travelling in vans and staying in cheap motels. That part has been a good experience, and the fans have been great. I have a lot of respect for rock fans who have been coming out and supporting the fund."

20/02/2004 19:32