All the national news outlets are reporting that Daniel Biechele, the 29-year-old former manager of rock band Great White, will spend four years in prison for the out-of-control pyrotechnics that caused a nightclub fire in Rhode Island that killed 100 people. Biechele was looking at 10 years in jail under the plea-bargain arranged with prosecutors. He pled guilty to 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter, and is the first person to be sentenced. The club owners, charged with manslaughter, are waiting trial.
Great White’s pyro ignited the foam walls and ceiling of The Station, the West Warwick, R.I., club seconds after its show started Feb. 20, 2003. One of the band’s members was killed in the blaze. The club reportedly had put foam on the walls and ceiling as a means of sound-proofing after complaints from the neighborhood.
Great White had been scheduled to perform in Little Rock later that spring. What we remember Great White best for is being the back-up band for Joe Piscopo in his send up of Sinatra trying to sing a heavy metal version of “Witchcraft” in a Piscopo comedy special on HBO a few years back.