Jack Russell Calls New Great White Documentary ‘Cathartic’
Former Great White frontman Jack Russell said he found it “very cathartic” to watch a new documentary about his life and how it was affected by the 2003 club fire that killed 100 Great White fans.
Even though he's no longer a member of the band, Russell said he continues to deal with the aftermath of the tragedy, which was triggered when stage pyrotechnics set fire to the Station night club in West Warwick, R.I.
“There’s a movie called The Guest List, which is due to be out next year,” Russell told Psycho Babble TV (via Blabbermouth). “It’s partly my life story, as a kid growing up, then it goes off into the fire, unfortunately, and talks by the victims and their families and how it affected them. A lot of people blame me – I wouldn’t say ‘a lot,’ but they’re very vocal. I look at it like this: If it makes it easier for them to grieve the loss of somebody close to them, then my shoulders are big enough.”
The accident occurred because the Station was outlined in soundproofing foam that wasn’t fireproofed to legal standards. “I’ve seen so many tapes of pyro shooting off in that club with the foam,” Russell said. “Bigger stuff than we had, and it never happened. Why it happened that night – who knows? It’s like a plane crash. It takes all these little things to fall in line for that one big thing to happen.”
Russell noted that the documentary's filmmakers had given him the opportunity to tell his own story and offer an apology, but "not a guilty apology,” he added. “I feel horrible that it happened. I lost a lot of friends that night. People I didn’t even know were there. People have said, ‘He’s not remorseful.’ They’ve got to understand, when all this went down, my legal team said, ‘You cannot ever say you’re sorry, because it implies guilt.’ I’m like, ‘But I am sorry.’ But you can’t say it.”
He also said that he’d found solace in one part of the aftermath. “There was a man named Joe – he was the most badly burned of all the people," he said. "He met his wife in the fire and they had a beautiful son. And his comment was, ‘If this wouldn’t have happened, I wouldn’t have met the love of my life.’”
Russell noted that he was glad the movie had been made. “It may not be the best thing in the world for me," he concluded. "But it’s very cathartic.”
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