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The Boston Globe

Metro

Great White’s frontman has struggled with fire’s legacy

HERMOSA BEACH, Calif. — He walks with a cane now and, until recently, he wore a colostomy bag surgically attached to his waist, a humbling reminder of his near death in 2010, after years of drug and alcohol abuse.

Jack Russell, 52, has fallen a long way since that night 10 years ago when he preened before a packed house in The Station nightclub, before his band’s pyrotechnics turned the place into a deadly inferno. In minutes, the front man for the fading ’80s hair band, Great White, became a vilified figure in a national tragedy, not just for his role in starting the fire, but for his seeming insensitivity: He talked about the band’s upcoming summer tour even while The Station burned before his eyes.

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