Frank Ruffino, guitarist for legendary punk outfit China White, is in trouble. Recently, the Weekly learned that the longtime Huntington Beach axe man is in dire need of a liver transplant. Currently in ICU, it appears that survival for this local father of two hinges on his ability to get to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla. where he'll be able to receive the proper treatment. Though this option is the best chance at saving Ruffino's life, he and wife Ella are encountering one main obstacle: the funds to get there in time.
For the young, casual fan of OC punk, the name China White might not ring an immediate bells. But considering their impact (both literally and figuratively) the wild Huntington Beach band had on the local punk scene in the 1980s alongside T.S.O.L. and Social Distortion, there's no doubt that this cause is deserving of some Mike Atta-style support.
Formed in 1978, Ruffino and company made their mark on the OC and LA club circuits before being picked up by Frontier Records, releasing their first E.P., Dangerzone, in 1981. Despite a number of lineup changes, breakups and reunions since then, Ruffino has remained the band's one constant member and a respected figure in the punk community, a reputation that dates back to the band's over-the-top raucousness on stage in their hey day.
To help with his life-threatening struggle, a donation website was set up in Ruffino's name via fundrazr.com to help cover the cost of expenses for he and his wife to temporarily move to Florida to get a new liver while their kids stay in SoCal. Of the $25,000 they are asking for in donations, so far the couple has gotten $8,000 in pledge money to help their cause. Heard Mentality will report further on the details of Ruffino's condition and the status of the fund raising. More details to come.