Desert Moon

Album: Hooked (1991)
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Songfacts®:

  • "Desert Moon" is a rocker written by Great White band members Jack Russell, Mark Kendall, and Michael Lardie, along with their producer/manager, Alan Niven. Russell, the band's frontman, says it's about making love in the moonlight.
  • The song was released as a single from Great White's fifth album, Hooked. Their previous album, ...Twice Shy sold over 2 million copies and delivered the hit "Once Bitten, Twice Shy." But the '90s were not good to the band, as musical tastes changed. Hooked didn't have any hits, and they went into decline.
  • The music video, directed by Wayne Isham, shows the band performing the song in a moonlit desert with a massive bonfire burning. One of the girls dancing in the desert moon is Kristine Rose, who appeared in Playboy and various B-movies, including Demonic Toys and Total Exposure.
  • If the title seems familiar, that's probably because Dennis DeYoung released a song called "Desert Moon" in 1984.
  • This was the song Great White was playing at The Station Nightclub in Rhode Island in 2003 when the venue was engulfed in flames, killing 100 people. It was the first song in their set; soon after they started playing it, their ill-advised pyrotechnics went off, starting the fire that spread rapidly. There was no sprinkler system installed, and the soundproofing was highly flammable, making the whole place a tinder box.

    At first, fans thought the emerging fire was part of the show. By the time they realized it wasn't, there was a stampede to the exit, causing a crush. When Russell noticed the flames, he muttered, "That's not good," then left with the rest of the band out a side entrance. Their guitarist, Ty Longley, either didn't make it out or died after going back in, possibly to retrieve his guitar.

    The venue owners went to jail, as did Great White's tour manager, but the band didn't face criminal charges. Their attempts to play fundraisers for the victims were met with derision; a group representing those affected by the blaze asked everyone associated with Great White not to speak of it publicly.

    The band dropped the song from their setlists, but after Russell formed his own group called Jack Russell's Great White in the early '00s, he started playing it again. "It wasn't the song's fault," he told The Boston Globe.

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