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Three Indicted in R.I. Fire

Great White tour manager, club owners hit with charges

December 9, 2003 12:00 AM ET

Great White tour manager Dan Biechele and the Station nightclub owners Jeffrey and Michael Derderian were indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter yesterday, stemming from the February fire that claimed 100 lives.

Each of the three faces 200 counts of involuntary manslaughter, and each pleaded innocent to charges, the first criminal counts handed down after the tragedy. The Derderians were freed on $5,000 bail each, Biechele posted $10,000 bail.

The fire started just moments into Great White's February 20th show in West Warwick, Rhode Island, when the band's stage pyrotechnics ignited soundproofing foam in the venue. The fire quickly consumed the Station; 200 fans were injured and Great White guitarist Ty Longley was among those killed. The band and the club's owners offered differing stories as to whether the pyrotechnics were authorized.

Several civil suits against the principals involved in the fire have also been filed.

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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