Russell Forced Great White To Mime Shows'

Ex-bandmates fire back in lawsuit stacked with counterclaims after frontman Jack claimed he'd sacked and replaced them all.

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Ex-bandmates fire back in lawsuit stacked with counterclaims after frontman Jack claimed he'd sacked and replaced them all.

Great White's Mark Kendall, Michael Lardie and Adie Desbrow have filed a counterclaim against frontman Jack Russell, alleging he forced them to mime shows on a European tour because he couldn't carry out singing duties well enough.

Russell last month served papers against his former colleagues for continuing to use the band name while he was working on a project called Jack Russell's Great White. Later he said: "That's not Great White who are they kidding? I fired them all on December 10."

The three long-standing musicians hired XYZ singer Terry Illous to carry out a 30th anniversary tour and later decided to start creating new material, following a number of incidents which left Russell too ill to work.

Responding to their ex-singer's lawsuit, they've now filed their own 30-page document, claiming:

  • Russell said he was the band's creative director, but that was actually manager Alan Niven, who wrote some music, most of the lyrics and produced recordings;

  • Russell didn't make significant contributions to the writing process and only got songwriting credits "to maintain harmony within the band"

  • His voice had deteriorated so badly by 2000 that he "suggested the band play to pre-recorded music and lip-sync entire concerts"

  • His insistence forced Kendall to take a "leave of absence" from the band and the European tour collapsed after three shows when the audience realised no one was playing live

  • After sending an email in which he said it was "fine" if the band used the name without him, he tried to register it as a trademark only to discover Kendall had beaten him to it

  • He claimed in an email to have had an affair with Kendall's wife and that he'd smoked crack with her, and called each band member talentless, before retracting the entire message

    The paperwork also says that when the band regrouped in 2007 under manager Obi Steinman and an agreement was put in place that meant if one member was voted out of the band he'd retain royalty rights but would have no claim over the name.

    The band continues: "A European tour started on January 25, 2008 and the band was concerned that Russell may be looking for drugs after shows. His performances were substandard, and he appeared to not be sleeping."

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  • 3 comments sorted by best / new / date

      Wow the fade into obscurity has been rough on Russell, but the other band members do have a point. If they have paperwork saying they get the name then they get it. Its just like GNR, everyone signed their rights to Axl for the name so its his.
      The current Great White sounds great - like the band in their prime. Jack Russell's version sounds like a tribute band. And the band did say that their current singer was 'filling in' while Russell got better. I think they'll win this suit.