Great White's Jack Russell: 'How Can They Have A 30th Anniversary If They're All Fired?'

artist: Jack Russell date: 04/20/2012 category: interviews
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Great White's Jack Russell: 'How Can They Have A 30th Anniversary If They're All Fired?'
Full In Bloom recently conducted an interview with Great White singer Jack Russell. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. Full In Bloom: What's the latest with the Great White lawsuit? Initially it came out that you were ok with them using the name Great White and that you wanted to tour as Jack Russell's Great White. Then the band announced they would be doing a new record with XYZ vocalist Terry Illous, which resulted with you filing to prevent them from using the name. Jack: Well, yeah, putting an album out as Great White... that's not Great White. Now they're having a 30th anniversary. Who are they kidding?! 30th anniversary of what? I fired them all. How can they have an anniversary if they're all fired? I fired them on December 10th. But they obviously don't want to be fired. Prior to that, they tried to file for the [Great White] trademark without me. I could not believe it; my gut was so upset. I had tears in my eyes... I couldn't believe these guys were my friends. OK, I cost them some money but then again, I allowed them to go out with other singers. I called Jani [Lane, former Warrant singer who passed away in August 2011] and said, "Do me a favor and go out and fill in for me while I get well, so these guys don't lose money." Then Terry came in and I was cool with that, too. In retrospect, I should have said no...."You wait for me until I come back." But that's not who I am....I don't want to stop them from earning a living, but they sure wanted to stop me. I'm getting e-mails from these guys: "You can only go out there as Jack Russell, formerly of Great White," from a manager who has only been with the band for the last few years. Screw you, buddy. Honest to God, these moves that I am making are not out of animosity. I mean it. They are just business decisions. Those guys cannot be Great White. There already are too many people going, "Which version of the band are you in?" It's ridiculous. They need to call it something else. It's a different singer.....and the singer is the one element of the band you cannot change without completely changing the sound of the band. I don't care how great the singer is, or how bad. I don't care if you put Steven Tyler in Ratt, it ain't gonna be Ratt. It sounds like the Mark Kendall's Great White is pretty close to releasing a new album. That's not going to happen. We're fighting that tooth and's a complete farce. Are you pursuing the rights to use the name Great White? Oh yeah. I do want the name now. If they would have called me up before all this happened and said, "Hey, Jack, you know what, man?! We're just sick of you, we can't stand you, we hate your guts, but we know where we've been, so let's try to figure out an amicable way so that we can both use the name." We probably could have figured something out. But the fact that they went behind my back and filed for the trademark, that's just totally deceptive, that ain't right. There was a recent interview with guitarist Mark Kendall where he was saying that you joined his band which later became Great White. I joined his band. (laughs) No way. He was in a cover band and he kept bugging me to sing for him and I didn't want to do it because he was in a crosstown rival band. I had never heard them but, of course, they sucked because they were our rivals. That was when I was in a band with Audie. I finally went and checked out Mark's band and the band kind of sucked, but he played me some of his own stuff and I said, "You quit these guys, I'll quit my band and we'll start our own band." That's exactly as it happened, may God strike me dead. Then Don Dokken was the one that initiated us getting started here, he brought Alan Niven down to see us. The Dokken connection came from Gary Holland, who had played in Dokken over in Europe. I've heard Mark try to take credit for that. No. I just talked to Don the other day and asked him to refresh my memory. He said, "I met you guys through Gary Holland and I came down to the studio, heard you sing, loved the voice and said I wanted to work with these guys." Then he introduced us to Alan Niven and he wanted to sign us to Greenworld. They didn't want us, so he quit. He said, "I don't know what I'm going to do now, I don't have a job," and I said, "Why don't you be our manager." He said, "I don't know anything about managing," and I said, "Well, you're going to learn." And learn he did - he became one of the best managers in rock and roll. Read the entire interview from Full In Bloom. Fan-filmed video footage of Jack Russell's Great White's April 7 performance at Marquee 15 in Corona, California can be seen at this location.
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