Heidi Peralta, the pregnant girlfriend of Ty Longley — the GREAT WHITE guitarist who died in the Rhode Island nightclub disaster — has contacted BLABBERMOUTH.NET to set the record straight with regards to the various benefit events taking place next month to honor Ty's memory and to help raise money for his unborn child.
Heidi, 26, who lives in Plainfield, Illinois, is expecting in August, and is overseeing an event at the Hard Rock Cafe in Beverly Hills, California on April 17, the proceeds from which will go to the Baby Longley Fund (set up on behalf of Ty's unborn child).
The concert, which will be attended by Peralta, will feature performances from GREAT WHITE members Mark Kendall, Sean McNabb and Dave Felice, Yuko of THE JACK RUSSELL BAND, and Ty's former band FIVE CENT SHINE, among others.
Meanwhile, a separate, unrelated event arranged by GREAT WHITE's manager, Paul Woolnough of Manic Music Management Inc., is being held on April 29 at the Key Club in West Hollywood, California. Dubbed "the official benefit for the Ty Longley Memorial Fund," the concert will reportedly feature the first live appearance of GREAT WHITE since the Rhode Island tragedy, and will help raise monies to benefit "Ty's estate," according to an e-mail Woolnough sent to BLABBERMOUTH.NET on Thursday (March 27).
Although both events will seemingly benefit a good cause, Peralta wants to make it clear that the monies raised by the April 29 concert will not necessarily end up in the "right place," especially in light of Longley's allegedly strained relationship with Woolnough, whom Heidi regards as a person that does not have Ty's best interests at heart.
"I have gotten many e-mails concerning your e-mail from Paul Woolnough," Peralta wrote in her e-mail to BLABBERMOUTH.NET. "Ty Longley never had a contract with Paul and the band itself can tell you along with Ty's true friends that Paul was not Ty's best friend or even a person that was concerned with Ty's best interests.
"The only [surviving GREAT WHITE member] not attending the Beverly Hills benefit for the unborn child of Ty and Heidi will be [singer] Jack Russell.
"There are many friends, band members, and fans that will not attend anything that Manic Management or Knight Records will hold to raise money since it is aware how Ty felt about these companies and this person.
"The only way people can insure that the money goes to the right place concerning Ty Longley is to donate (if they wish) to The Baby Longley Fund:
The Baby Longley Fund
C/O First Midwest Bank
2300 IL Route 59
Plainfield, IL 60544
"The 'estate' will be turned over to the child as soon as he/she is born, as the child is the direct descendant and sole heir of Ty Longley. There will at that time be an account set up for the child as soon as it is born and we have a social security number. No one else will be doing so, as they will need our child's social security number, and that will not be available to Woolnough, Manic Management, and Knight Records.
"I do have written statements from Ty regarding issues that have been brought up including monies still owed to him and how Paul was to handle that situation from August 2002 and still has yet to carry out that agreement.
"The benefit at The Hard Rock [on April 17] will be a jam-type session, with all musicians wanting to help raise monies for the child's future. None of this money will go to diapers, formula, or the raising of the child, nor will the money go to guitar lessons for children. This is not a charity, but simply a way to secure the child's future. This was set up due to the overwhelming response from the fans asking where they could send money to our child. This money is STRICTLY for the child of Heidi and Ty Longley.
"Donating to the fund we set up is a choice. We are not demanding anything from the fans. There is still a lot of things regarding Ty to be released and will be in time. As for CDs and books and things of that nature [presumably referring to the Woolnough-compiled CD, 'Ty Longley - Regular Guy', which is available for pre-ordering at www.knightrecords.com—ed.], to throw something together and disrespect the talent and memory of Ty, to cash in while the story is hot is totally sickening, in my opinion, and something Ty would not have wanted. The public does have the right to have it and enjoy it, but when it's done through Ty's site [www.tylongley.com], it will be done right... even if it takes a year or more. Ty would have not ever done anything half way, and I will see to it our child and I set things up correctly.
"Ty was a great man with unrecognized talent before his tragic death. He deserves tact and respect. This is also why it was decided to give away the t-shirts and guitar picks at the benefits to people who donated. This way Ty wasn't being sold, and the profits could benefit his child. Ty had designed the shirts and had them at the printers before he passed. This is something that he can give for helping to keep his memory alive and helping his child's future. I have also offered all records of the fund to any party in charge of any benefit that contributes to the child's fund.
"There simply aren't any secrets or deception on this end.
"There is also going to be the Official California Ty Longley Memorial Sunday April 20, 2003 at the Cat Club in Hollywood with a trip to Toi, Ty's favorite restaurant. It was routine that we would go to the Cat Club on Sunday and then Toi. Everyone is welcome and will be on a list to get in if they attend the benefit on April 17. Fans and friends are welcome to bring their memories of Ty. All information is available on Ty Longley's website... TyLongley.com.
"I hope this answers all questions and concerns.
"Bless all the families and victims of this nightmare... We still think of them every day....
"Always remember Ty for his gift of music that he loved sharing with us all."