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Post Info TOPIC: Great White Frontman Jack Russell Filming Biopic about Tragic Nightclub Fire

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Date: Nov 13 10:00:28 2015
Great White Frontman Jack Russell Filming Biopic about Tragic Nightclub Fire

Former Great White frontman Jack Russell is filming a biopic which he hopes will tell his side of the story of the tragic 2003 Rhose Island nightclub fire that killed 100 people including Great White guitarist Ty Longley.  The film will not only cover the catastrophic fire, but will chronicle Russell's career up to that point, the fire, and where his life has gone from there.  "It's a story of my life intertwined with the story of the fire," Russell told Portland's 105.9 The Brew earlier this week.  "It's really hard, you know, but it's going to give me a chance to apologize and say how I feel about it. I never had the chance to say, 'I'm sorry'," the iconic vocalist lamented.  


The fire that had such a drastic impact on Russell's life occurred February 20th, 2003 at the Station Nightclub in Warwick, Rhode Island.  Trouble began when Great White's tour manager, Daniel Michael Biechele, began setting off pyrotechnics that have always been a staple of the band's live shows.  A few minutes later, acoustic foam on the walls and ceiling ignited, and the flames spread quickly, engulfing the club in mere minutes.  Smoke and toxic fumes filled the club rapidly, making escape a difficult proposition for the 460+ attendees at the show.  100 people lost their lives in the event, including the band's guitarist, while another 230 were injured.  Months later, Great White settled a lawsuit from victims of the fire for $1 million, but that was just a fraction of the settlements won for victims.  Fines totaling $175 million were levied against the club's owners, Jeffrey and Michael Derderian, and tour manager Biechele, who was operating the pyrotechnics without a permit.  All three men struck plea deals in criminal cases brought against them, though only Jeffrey Derderian avoided jail time.


Russell told The Brew that part of the reason he wanted to film the biopic was because he wasn't allowed to apologize in the aftermath of the Station disaster.  Attorneys, the singer explained, felt that it would imply guilt if he issued an apology, so Russell was left to deal with the guilt internally.  "It was like the 9/11 of rock and roll," the musician explained.  "I have this survivor's guilt, like, why did I get to live when so many other people didn't? I feel guilty for people coming to see me play and losing their lives. It's really hard to deal with it."  In the end, Russell is making the documentary film about the nightclub fire because he hopes it will help provide closure to survivors of the fire and the families who lost their lives that fateful night.  Check out footage of the horrific fire in the YouTube clip below.  The footage is graphic, so viewer discretion is advised.



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