Russell says he has forged friendships with victims from the fire, too, including the father of his former guitarist Longley. After the memorial foundation rejected his offer of a benefit, he donated proceeds to a charity founded by Acey Longley, Ty’s son, who had not been born by the time of the fire.
Yet Russell only mentioned Ty Longley and the Station fire once during his benefit show at Saint Rocke. Mostly, Russell was in rock star mode, wheeling through Great White’s old hits and, halfway through the set, the song that he was singing when The Station caught fire, “Desert Moon.”
“Let’s shake this town, baby,” sang Russell, who told the audience the song was about making love in the moonlight.
Immediately after the fire, Russell vowed the band would never play “Desert Moon” again.
“I don’t think I could ever sing that song again,” he said.
But eventually the band reconsidered. As Russell explained, “It wasn’t the song’s fault.”