Great White Members Shocked By Jack Russell’s Decision To Return With New Band

Great White Members Shocked By Jack Russell’s Decision To Return With New Band

December 13, 2011

The recent announcement that long-time Great White vocalist Jack Russell would be returning with a new band under the name ‘Great White featuring Jack Russell’ (with Matthew Johnson, Derrick Pontier, Dario Seixas, and Robby Lochner) has caught his former bandmates completely by surprise. Mark Kendall, Audie Desbrow, Michael Lardie, Scott Snyder and Terry Ilous have shot back by saying Russell has no rights to use the Great White name and that they will litigate any promoter that books the band as ‘Great White featuring Jack Russell’.

In a lengthy statement posted at the band says, “First and foremost, our main concern is our fans. We havespent 30 years trying to be the best we can be and bring our fans the topquality of music they have become accustomed to and deserve. Itsaddens us today to have to respond to Jack Russell’s announcement.

Jack Russell announced on Facebook on Saturday, December 10, 2011 that he was returning to Great White with a new line-up. This was a complete shock to the entire Great White Family.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

As we all know Jack Russell has been fighting drug andalcohol abuse for many years. He has had numerous stints in and out of treatment facilities and hospitals.

In 2010 Jack’s physical condition deteriorated to thepoint that he routinely fell on and off stage, forgot lyrics and we had tocancel shows due to his inability to perform. In the past two years, Jack hashad five major surgeries and has almost died three times. His drug abuse was so bad that his body began to shut down and ultimately resulted in colostomy surgery from a perforated bowel (he nearly died during this procedure). The colostomy surgery saved his life, but vanquished him with a colostomy bag for a year.

We stood by Jack; we supported his sobriety and eagerly awaitedhis return.

Jack was first slated to return to Great White this pastsummer. Unfortunately his frail body and his drug abuse prohibited this event. Inthe following months, Jack had three more surgeries that delayed his return.Finally, he chose February 2012 as his target return date. We had five clearconditions for Jack’s return:

1. Jack had to be drug free. Off all Opiates, Methadone, Valium or Xanax.
2. Jack had to be off Prednisone (a steroid that ate away at Jack’s internal organs thatcaused the perforated bowl).
3. Jack had to be sober and off crack cocaine and all alcohol.
4. Jack had to agree to weekly drug tests.
5. Jack must attend weekly meetings for AA and NA.

Last week Jack notified management he would not make itback by February 2012. Jack referred to his doctor’s opinion that he would notbe ready. He had just started physical rehabilitation again and his legs andback needed more rehab to handle the rigors of touring. Jack thought he wouldbe ready by May to start the summer touring season. However, he wasn’t sure ifhe could be off the Methadone by then or ever. Management reiterated that hehad to be completely drug free for his return. He owed it to the fans. He owedit to us. He owed to himself.

Out of nowhere, we all received an email on Saturday,December 10, 2011 stating that he was coming back now and that he was startinghis own (a different lineup) Great White. As you can imagine, this was shockingto say the least. We were saddened and hurt from this shocking announcement.

We only want to do right by our fans. We aim to givethe best possible show and have every fan leave the show feeling theygot their monies worth. This band is sober and music is our passion. WithJack Russell, not being drug free and unable to physically perform on stage, itwill only let down our fans.

Time and again, Jack Russell has let down his band and fans.His addictions have ruined his life the past eight years. We will not sit byand enable our brother to abuse alcohol and drugs to kill himself. We have losttoo many loved ones to this madness. After the passing of our dear friend, thetalented Jani Lane, it has become more evident that this has to stop. It mustend.

Since Jack’s departure in August 2010, Great White hasperformed almost 100 concerts. We’ve had no shortened sets, cancellations orsong choice limitations due to vocal issues. In this struggling economy, fansneed and deserve more — not less. We owe it to our fans and the promoters to notto allow Jack Russell and some garage band to hurt Great White’s classic rocklegacy and bright future.

Jack Russell does not have the right to start his ownGreat White or use the name without our names in the lineup. Wewill litigate any promoter that books ‘Jack Russell’s Great White’ or usesany logo featuring the name Great White.

We give you our word, we will continue through 2012 andbeyond to provide you with the top quality musical performances you have beenaccustomed and deserve. We hope and pray that Jack gets healthy, happy andsober. His health and well-being is the only thing that matters.”

Courtesy of