And the organisation have all but said he’s only doing it for publicity.
Russell recently announced he’d play an acoustic benefit concert in California in February. He planned to send the proceeds to the foundation set up to commemorate the 100 people who died in the blaze during a Great White concert a decade ago, including guitarist Ty Longley.
Earlier this week he said: “I too lost many friends that night – but I can’t begin to equate that to the loss of a family member. For what it’s worth, you have been in my prayers and always will be.”
Later he revealed: “My manager received an email from the vice president of the Station Fire Memorial Foundation, stating that they will refuse any donations from me. The proceeds from the show will be donated to a different charitable organiaation, to be determined shortly.
“I am saddened by the response of the foundation and the motives behind it, but we will put on a great show and make it for a worthy cause.”
Now the foundation have lashed back against the second announcement. They say: “This event was not approved by, nor endorsed by the Station Fire Memorial Foundation. We require all third party fundraisers to be recognised and approved prior to advertising.
“The foundation felt that this event was not something we wished to be associated with. This is due to the resentment and animosity still felt by many of the families and survivors. We feel that the upset caused by his involvement would outweigh the amount of funds raised at this event
“Mr Russell’s manager, Ms Valerie Ince, responded that she would remove the name of the foundation from the event and another worthy charity would be chosen. We thanked her, and tried to have all traces of the event taken down from various music news websites before any damage could be done.
“Instead of graciously adhering to our heartfelt and polite request, Ms Ince then released an additional statement to the media.
“We stand behind our decision that our organisation represents the feelings and the needs of the family members and survivors above the need for publicity or opportunity of one person.”
Russell’s concert takes place at Hermosa Beach on February 7.
-Classic Rock Magazine