INTERVIEW WITH FORMER GREAT WHITE AND GUNS N’ ROSES MANAGER ALAN NIVEN
Date: June 17, 2017
Interviewer: Ruben Mosqueda
Rock manager Alan Niven contacted Sleaze Roxx to address some of the things mentioned in our interview with Jack Russell in February of 2017. We had a chance to talk with Niven who spoke from his home somewhere in the Arizona desert. He has remained active in the music business and he is currently working or has worked with the following acts: Michael Thompson Band, Razer, Izzy Stradlin And The Juju Hounds, Havan Black, Guns N’ Roses and of course Great White.
“We’re civil to each other. I actually went to see the band [Great White] for the first time since 1995 about a year ago. It’s a complex situation with a lot of mixed emotions. We were together for 13 years. To be honest with you when we were driving to the show in Phoenix [Arizona], I said to my wife ‘Let’s turn around and go back [home]!’ Both lanes heading back were completely blocked! I was like “Oh God, now we have to go.” I was meant to be there. It was good to see them play,” says Niven.
People might not be aware but Alan Niven ran [the now defunct] Enigma Records for its first six months of existence. “I did everything for that label,” says Niven proudly. Niven wanted to set the record straight on a few things from our interview with Jack Russell and they are as follows:
Sleaze Roxx: On Jack [Russell] suggesting that he and presumably the rest of the band was under Alan Niven’s control such as when they covered The Who’s “Substitute.”
Alan Niven: I selected all the covers, as well as the originals. I had a vision for the band after the EMI disaster and I think that the historical record of achievement indicates I had a reasonable idea and knew what I was doing; it’s what a producer does.
Sleaze Roxx: On Jack [Russell] indicating that Alan Niven ‘tricked him’ into going to a meeting where he was ‘fooled’ into thinking that he was ‘discovered’ the song “Face The Day,” which Great White covered.
Alan Niven: He was invited to come hang at Kick Van Hengle’s office. Kick was then VP of International at Capitol and he had turned me onto “Face The Day,” having just come back from Australia. We both recognized its potential. I asked if Capitol were going to do anything with the song. They weren’t so I asked him to play it for Russell. Being ‘off’ a label at the time, Jack was delighted to be in a record company office, being taken seriously, and I knew it would be an easier sell in that situation. He’s a dumb fuck after all. My job would be easier if he thought it was his idea.
Now consider that we got 16 weeks of heavy rotation on KMET and eight weeks of heavy on KLOS who named the song their ‘#2 Song of the Year’ behind Steve Winwood. You have to consider that neither stations played indie tracks in any rotation whatsoever, then I suppose you might be tempted to think I knew what I was doing and I produced results. The end result was that I managed to get the band resigned even after a debut disaster, with “Face The Day.” I have to note that Kick Van Hengle helped me get the band resigned to Capitol.
Sleaze Roxx: On Jack [Russell] indicating that it was only until ‘Once Bitten…’ that people got to hear what he really sounded like. Russell went on to say that Alan Niven asked him to sing as “Jack Evil.”
Alan Niven: That is complete bullshit. ‘Jack Evil’ was an exhortation from Michael Wagener. His other one was ‘Jackie, make a fist.’ By the way, Michael Lardie, Kendall and I were the producers on ‘Once Bitten.’ We were the ones who brought out the qualities of his voice [laughs]!”
Sleaze Roxx: On Jack [Russell] also indicating that the cover for ‘Old Rose Motel’ [album] is a jab Alan Niven at Axl Rose [Guns N’ Roses].
Alan Niven: I lived just down the road from this sign and thought it amazing. I also was amused by the reference to ‘Rose,’ and to the fact it was a nefarious place, where people got up to no good [laughs]. The album was titled ‘Psycho City’ and all my content addressed the idea that the city was corrupt and out of control. People lost their souls there and got swallowed by their own egos and appetites. The album ends with “Get On Home.” If it has my name — it’s my lyric and melody. Jack Russell mostly got ‘vanity credits’ for minimal input, to keep the peace and assuage his ego. Jack is entirely clueless as to my inspirations but he loves to run off at the mouth.
Sleaze Roxx: On Jack’s [Russell] statement that Alan Niven was trying to change Great White to The Eagles on the ‘Sail Away’ album.
Alan Niven: ‘Psycho City’ in my mind, it was perhaps the best studio album we had made. I felt it would be a mistake to try and replicate it on ‘Sail Away’ but that it would be smarter to take a slightly different approach, especially since we had not gotten the results that album deserved. This was discussed before we began recording. Radio was moving away from Def Leppard, Whitesnake and Ratt. It was done with Warrant and Poison. The ’80s rock was leprous to the grunge movement. Everyone agreed. At a Chinese meal on the conclusion of the recording of ‘Sail Away,’ I went around the table and asked if everyone felt good about what we had done. Everyone agreed.
In the long run, I would have liked Great White to develop into an area between [Pink] Floyd and The Eagles. I wanted more songs that mean something — and Henley is a master there — with even greater ‘guitarscapes’ for Kendall, who has brilliant feel and I consider one of the underrated, underappreciated, players of his generation. Each album was not a mirror image of the last. We weren’t Def Leppard. There was always a determination to grow.
Furthermore, ‘Sail Away’ is a complete and solid record, something that has eluded Jack since. I believe a record should have elements of the visceral, of intelligence and of spirit. ‘Sail Away’ has all these elements. I can only surmise that Jack dislikes Led Zeppelin lll? Now that was a huge departure. Jack likes to call ‘Sail Away’ an ‘acoustic’ album. That defines the limits of his hearing capacity. There are tracks on ‘Sail Away’ that could just as easily been on ‘Once Bitten…’ or ‘Hooked’ — “Livin’ In The USA” and “Momma Don’t Stop” for example. Now take into account that “Sail Away,” the song, was the #16 most played track at AOR that year, ahead of the two Counting Crows tracks. Not bad for the middle of the grunge era. Had we got to work a second track, I believe the album would have easily gone gold. Also keep in mind, unlike most others, we never made the same record twice. There is no point to that.
When we signed with Zoo, the head of radio promotion was Michael Prince. He liked and understood the band. He drove ‘Sail Away.’ He was then replaced by Ray Gmeiner, a former roommate of Doug Goldstein. That was the end of the promotion for the band.
Sleaze Roxx: On when and how things turned sour between [Alan] Niven and Jack [Russell].
Alan Niven: It was in 1994 when I busted the little cunt stealing from the band’s ‘petty cash’ while we were on tour.
Sleaze Roxx: You helped launch Enigma Records in the ’80s.
Alan Niven: I did. It was around that time that I began a relationship with a guy named Don Dokken. I signed Mötley Crüe to their first contract with Greenworld and then I met Tom Zutaut. I was in my office in Torrance [California] and this guy rolls in a 1956 white Bentley. I was like “Hello” [laughs]! The guy comes into my office, tosses a record on my desk, sits down and puts his feet on my desk! Without as much as a “Hello,” he says “I want you to do for my band what you did for Mötley Crüe.” The guy was Don Dokken. That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. We wound up living together for quite a while.
It was Don that introduced me to a band called Dante Fox. It was Great White before the name change. Don felt that they’d be good for my indie label ambitions. I went to see them and I thought they were terrible. I said to Don, “What the fuck” [laughs]! Don said, “No, you missed it.” So I went to another gig and it didn’t improve my evaluation of the band. I drove from Hollywood all the way to the south coast of Palos Verdes to a tiny, tiny little cottage. Needless to say it was a long haul at 3 o’clock in the morning. I was driving back and I kept saying to myself “I don’t get it. I don’t get it.” It was then that I had a moment of clarity. I went through my mental checklist. I respected Don’s judgment so I went to look again a third time. At the tail end of the show, I was still pretty unenthused until they performed “I Don’t Need No Doctor” [Ashford and Simpson cover]. They completely blew the roof off the Troubadour. It was then that I said to myself, “Now I get it!” Kendall was on fire.
Sleaze Roxx: Was it actually you that referred to Mark Kendall as ‘Great White?’ Is that inaccurate?
Alan Niven: No, it’s not inaccurate, but it’s not a bullseye. Here’s what happened with that. I was standing outside the Troubadour waiting for them to turn up. A car pulled up real close to the sidewalk. Kendall was leaning out of the car waving his arms. Mark who is almost albino, his hair is white. Back then, when he was on stage, he’d wear a white jumpsuit, so he was leaning out of the car waving his arms. There were some kids standing on the sidewalk as they drove by, one of the kids says “Hey, there goes Great White.” It was at point that a light bulb went on in my head and thought “I’m not going to forget that.”
When I sat down with the band about signing them to Enigma, that’s one of the things that I felt needed some consideration. The name Dante Fox didn’t thrill me in a lot of ways. I made that known. Jack said, “Well if we change the name, we lose our following!” I looked right at him and said “I wouldn’t worry with the 30 to 40 people that know that name right now. We want to be known around the world. Let’s get the name right to start with.”
Sleaze Roxx: There was a transition with Great White from the debut album into ‘Shot In The Dark.’ I don’t want to say that the band sounded like a typical L.A. act but there wasn’t a presence of ‘the blues’ on that one. You had a hand in that. How receptive was the band to change?
Alan Niven: It was obvious that something didn’t work with the debut record. The album didn’t meet expectations either before or after its release. I think there were one or two tracks on there that were ‘okay.’ They were dropped in January of ’85. The conventional wisdom Ruben is that, if your debut record is a failure, you are done. I didn’t believe that way. I felt that the band had gone through a steep learning curve for a year and a half. We [Great White] opened for Whitesnake in the United Kingdom. We spent six months on the road with Judas Priest. How on earth can someone say that this band was less valuable now that we’ve gone through this incredible learning curve?
After the disaster on EMI [Records], I felt that we had to shift gears. This all went back to what got me excited about this band and it went back to them playing “…No Doctor” at the Troubadour. To me that was key right there. Trying to be a secondary Van Halen or Judas Priest was a secondary ambition and it’s not worked for us. I challenged them to find the personality of the band. It was my suggestion that we identify ourselves as a 1970s blues rock band.
‘Shot In The Dark’ was a transitional independent record that managed to get us resigned to Capitol Records. When we got signed I said to the label, “Listen, instead of releasing this album, let me go back into the studio and get you a brand new record. You’ll get music by a band that has a refired spirit and energy. Let’s maximize this momentum and come up with a new record.” The album that we came back with was ‘One Bitten…’ Tom Whalley who was their A&R guy and I went through an ‘A’ list of producers, there was no response, then the ‘B’ and there was no response, they it was the ‘C’ list and there was no response. We were about to begin to contact the ‘D’ list producers when I heard from Tom. He said “So and so wants to do the record but he wants a $75,000 advance.” I went off. I said “You’re fucking joking?! THIS guy with HIS track record wants a $75,000 advance?!” Then the next thing that came out of my mouth was “I can do a record that would be just as good as anything he could do and I wouldn’t be asking you for a $75,000 advance!” There was a period of silence, then Tom said, “Okay, go onto the studio and cut four tracks.” So off we went into the studio and one of the four we cut was “Rock Me.” It was at that point that Tom had us finish the record.
Sleaze Roxx: Did you think at all at the time that you might have overextended yourself?
Alan Niven: I had spent a decent amount of time in the studio. I had a certain amount of experience and recording, a certain amount of experience with songwriting. I made the comment because I meant that comment sincerely. You must realize Ruben, that I have a sense of self-confidence. I wanted us to be more self-sufficient, which is why I brought Michael Lardie on board because he was a first class engineer amongst other things. Back then, Capitol Records would leave us alone. We’d tell them when we were going into the studio and when we’d deliver the record.
I would never see an A&R guy until after the record was done. Michael and I worked well together and we had this sense of momentum and if someone wasn’t ‘feeling it,’ we wouldn’t push them. We kept the energy good and that translated into the records. Michael and I would deliver a record for around $100,000 or $110,000. In the meantime, label mates like Heart were costing the label like $400,000 [to make a record]. It was for that reason that Capitol left us to our own devices; for a period of three to four years, Great White was the most profitable band per unit sold on Capitol.
Sleaze Roxx: Just to back up a little bit, when you brought Michael in to do keyboards on ‘Shot In The Dark’ was he there just as a session player?
Alan Niven: We wanted to use keyboards on that record. We had used some keyboards live and we’d have Michael come in and do a show. He used to be a ‘New Waver’ and he looked like it too! I will never forget the first time I saw him. There’s this club called the Dancing Waters in Long Beach [California], he was playing with the band and he looked a little out of place. Then if you will pardon the expression, he got a ‘momentous’ blow job from some girl after the show and the very next day he turned up looking like a rock ‘n’ roller [laughs]!
Sleaze Roxx: How do you feel about ‘Shot In The Dark’ now?
Alan Niven: [Long pause] You know Ruben, it’s very difficult to listen to Great White records. Every now and then, I pull out a record or I hear a song and I think to myself, “You know that’s not as bad as I thought it was.” There was a time where I wouldn’t have let play a Great White record in my presence. I just didn’t want to hear it. I have gotten to a point in my life where I can look back and say, I think we put together a pretty good catalog in comparison to our peer group. The record still sounds to me very fresh and they don’t sound dated. The music seems to have stood the test of time to a degree.
Sleaze Roxx: You realize ‘Shot In The Dark’ is out of print again? I picked up a copy as an import from Japan.
Alan Niven: Ruben, Ruben you want to hear the worst one? ‘Psycho City’ was deleted as we left Capitol. It was basically a ‘fuck you’ from Capitol to us. It took me twenty years to get Capitol to realize that they could be selling this record and making money from it. It wasn’t until I was talking to the head of business affairs who said, “You’re kidding me? This record hasn’t been available for sale for 20 years?” I was like ‘Thank You!’ I’ve been trying to tell you this for the last 20 years [laughs]! I think ‘Once Bitten…’ and ‘Psycho City’ are the best studio albums and to have one of them out of print for 20 years was just ridiculous. That’s record companies for you Ruben.
Sleaze Roxx: I clearly recall the first time I saw the “Rock Me” music video. There was something different happing there that was a departure from what was happening in ‘rock music’ at the time. The bluesy lick, the harmonica and… then the video.
Alan Niven: Well, don’t forget the song opened up with the bass! Who does that [laughs]? I have a story about that video. I have a photo of Lorne Black in my office — God rest his soul. The day of the shoot was his last day with this band. It had taken me a year and a half to get this band resigned to Capitol Records. I felt that we had made a worthwhile record. We were about to spend about $110,000 on a video and Lorne [Black] shows up in a ‘cocaine haze’ two and a half hours late. That was his last day. I felt like, “If this is what the band means to you after the five year battle we had to get to this stage, you’re not the guy for this band.” It was sad, but that his last day with us shooting that video.
Sleaze Roxx: Out of curiosity, how much did the ‘mermaid’ on the “Rock Me” video cost you guys? That video could have been a performance video without the mermaid shooting the spear gun.
Alan Niven: She wasn’t that expensive on the day but she was expensive over a period of time. I had this idea of using the same person in the videos as on [album] covers. No one’s original. Sometimes, you wonder if you’re in ‘100th Monkey Theory [a.k.a. 100th Monkey Effect].’ Here I was thinking I have come up with something and then Tawny Kitaen does the same thing for Whitesnake at the same time [laughs]! I’m sitting here going, “Oh, fuck” [laughs]! How much the actual ‘skin’ cost? I don’t know… I really couldn’t tell you.
By the way, Jack gets credit on “Rock Me” that was thoroughly undeserved. It’s all ‘vanity credit.’ We simply felt that we should keep peace in the valley since we shared all the income from publishing anyway. I instituted a clause where whoever is in the band at the time can share the publishing but you must put the writers on the credits. If someone leaves the band and weren’t writers on the songs, then they were no longer entitled to the income created by the writers of that song. It wasn’t a fiscal thing and we made every attempt to keep things honest in terms of actual songwriting credits.
If you go back and look at your albums after we get off the phone, you will see that there are songs where there are two writers on them, sometimes three, or sometimes four. Jack did make contribution here and there but they were very minimal.
Sleaze Roxx: Then you followed things up with ‘…Twice Shy’ which tied everything together from the album covers and music videos. The cover of “Once Bitten…Twice Shy” was brilliant. That was your doing, if I recall. When I spoke to Jack, he mentioned that he wasn’t familiar with Mott The Hoople.
Alan Niven: That was me. What Jack said was a bunch of bullshit! Like what he said about Tesla, that was a lie too! While we were on the Judas Priest tour, our sound man had worked with Ian Hunter. We were sitting in the lounge one day before a show and he said, “You have got to hear this song.” The song he played me was “Once Bitten…Twice Shy.” I said, “That’s a pretty funky performance but that’s a really interesting and entertaining song.”
Around the time that we were naming the first album, ideas kept floating around and it was at that point, Izzy [Stradlin] brought up ‘Once Bitten’ after the Ian Hunter song “Once Bitten…Twice Shy.” So I was thinking ahead, if we name this one ‘Once Bitten…’ and the next one ‘…Twice Shy’ and maybe we’ll just knock this track out. The irony Ruben, of doing this song is that we stuck it on the end of the album. It wasn’t designed to become a ‘hit.’ I never thought of my band of having hits per say. I always considered them a road band. When we released that song, I assumed we’d get 10-12 weeks of AOR radio and then we’ll move on to the next; possibly something like “Mista Bone.” The thing took on a life of its own.
Sleaze Roxx: I remember cursing you guys when I bought the cassette. The song was at the end of side two and you had to fast forward the cassette to just the right point, flip it over and if you went too far, you’d then have to rewind it!
Alan Niven: [Bursts into laughter] You were cursing me [laughs]!
Sleaze Roxx: That was a brilliant move in a sense because you went away from the ‘1-2-3 punch’ that most records had at that time. They loaded the singles on the front end and then they’d put the filler at the end or side two.
Alan Niven: You put your finger on something pretty interesting. There were hard lessons to learn from the EMI failure as I became a responsible producer. My sense of what worked and what didn’t work in working with Michael Wagener is that I wasn’t going into the studio until we knew what exactly the record was, everyone knew every beat and every note. This would allow us to go into the studio and get the best performances that we could get. Michael [Lardie] and I would do preproduction, preproduction, preproduction, before we ever began recording. I would have a track list in my mind even before we started to record the album. I wanted to avoid just what you were talking about — the three good songs up front. I wanted you to drop the needle on the first song. I wanted to take you on a journey and I didn’t want you leaving us until the record was over. I wanted you to take the whole journey with us.
Sleaze Roxx: ‘Once Bitten…’ and ‘…Twice Shy’ were very much linked together but you did it so seamlessly. You really are a madman.
Alan Niven: [Bursts into laugher]
Sleaze Roxx: The records from ‘Shot In The Dark’ through ‘Psycho City’ are the next logical progression from the previous record and so on and so forth. In short, what I’m trying to say is that it showcases a great body of work.
Alan Niven: [Long pause] Ruben, thank you for saying that. That makes my evening. I think that would make Michael’s too and K’s [Mark Kendall] as well. We wanted continuity and we wanted to avoid making the last record again. I think this really culminated when we went in to record ‘Psycho City.’ I’m very fond of ‘Sail Away.’ That record came out at an interesting moment because we were right in the middle of grunge…
Sleaze Roxx: Jack referred to it as Alan wanting Great White to be The Eagles…
Alan Niven: It’s interesting that Jack would say that. I think that if I had stayed with them after ‘Sail Away,’ we would have moved away from the sound of ‘Sail Away.’ I have to laugh at what Jack said.
Sleaze Roxx: That record to me was a contemporary Great White record that took a left turn.
Alan Niven: Someone has to hold the vision. I think that after ‘Sail Away’ if we would have been somewhere between Pink Floyd and The Eagles, we would have done it right. I wanted to try different ‘guitarscapes’ for Kendall because to this day, the guy plays with such great feel. I think he’s the most underrated guitarist from the era.
Sleaze Roxx: One thing I really appreciate is that Great White never went too far from their roots. What I mean by that is that Warrant tried to go alternative and it didn’t work and Dokken went alternative and it didn’t work. Great White releases a record with a few more acoustic guitars than normal.
Alan Niven: “Livin’ In The USA” and “Momma Don’t Stop” could have been on ‘Once Bitten…’ “Sail Away” — the song came out during the computer era where every play of song was now registered. That song was the #16 played song on AOR that year, ahead of two Counting Crows hits, I might add. I thought that was pretty encouraging.
Sleaze Roxx: What’s your take on ‘Hooked?’ I see that as the somewhat forgotten record because the stuff leading up to it was so strong and then with ‘Psycho City’ being Great White’s creative peak. Would you agree?
Alan Niven: I thoroughly agree with you. I do think that ‘Psycho City’ is the strongest studio we made. As far as the ‘Hooked’ album is concerned, I would have loved some more reverb on the guitars. There are some great songs on there… I recall listening back to “Heartbreaker” a while back and I sat down and said, “Fuck! That’s better than I remember!” ‘Hooked’ is a good record but I don’t think we have the right sonic treatment on the rhythm guitars. I think part of that was we had it on tape and we allowed a lot of people from Capitol to come down to hear what we were doing. We wanted them to be excited. We wanted to send them away really jazzed about the album, which they did but it also became a distraction. I think that resulted in us losing our way a little bit.
Sleaze Roxx: Then there’s ‘Psycho City.’
Alan Niven: There was an arch from ‘Shot’ through ‘Psycho’ or even ‘Sail Away.’ There is an arc from amused cynicism to bitter cynicism. Then we got to ‘Psycho City’… Let’s just start with the title of the record. It’s commentary of where we were living and where we were heading. I would say that ‘Psycho City’ is the band’s ‘Hotel California.’ It’s a comment on L.A., the music business in L.A., the social life in L.A. and the vibe of L.A. The last two songs on the record are “Love Is A Lie” and “Get On Home.” We’re going through all this crap and I’m left with this sense of deceit, dishonesty and betrayal and I wish we could get back to being at home. ‘Psycho City’ is a statement of my perception of L.A. at that time. I wrote the content as well as the melodies. That’s where I was at the time and that is what fueled my sense of self-expression. This city is corrupt, it’s fucked up and it’s ‘Psycho Fucking City.’ Where do I live now Ruben? I live in the fucking desert [laughs]! You get my point?
Oh, the opening of “Psycho City” — the recorded message that is heard on the song… I actually got a chance to find out who that was eventually.
Sleaze Roxx: So who was that?
Alan Niven: I’m not going to go into it because it’s a long story. It was a little too close to home and it was a psychotic person. I found out that when he was in the military, they would call him ‘psycho.’ He was proud that he left that death threat on my answering machine. In short, he was ‘messing around’ where he should have been messing around. You come into work Ruben, and then you hear something like that, “I’m going to pull the hammer back.” He’s basically saying he’s going to blow you away. You look around and ask yourself, “Where are we? Why are we here? What are we doing in this city?” It was just fucking insane! There it is “Psycho City.”
Sleaze Roxx: So to clarify, the message was left on your machine for you not for Jack?
Alan Niven: It was left at my office on my answering machine, and yes I still have the tape [laughs]! I put that on the record as a ‘fuck you.’ You want to leave a death threat or threaten me? Guess what? I get to put you on a fucking record! Fuck you! That was my thinking at the time. Of course, it fit perfectly in that song. I did eventually find out who left it and I found out his motivations and he’s ‘psycho.’
Sleaze Roxx: How did you leaving the Great White camp transpire?
Alan Niven: Well, that transpired by the entire band coming to my house. We were in my kitchen. Jack stood there and said, “We’ve decided that we want to go our own way.” At which point I replied with, “Get the fuck out of my house! Fucking now!” That was the extent of the conversation. It was something that was driven by Jack. He had his motivations. It was very distressing, upsetting, but if he was going to have the nerve to do that in my own home… then I was done with him.
This is a guy that fucked up at every turn. The band would have been far more established had he not destroyed the momentum of the band. They went from a great opener to great headliner. We were on our first headlining tour. We were touring with M.S.G. [McAuley Schenker Group] and Havan Black opening for us. They were also two other Capitol acts so we had an incredible amount of focus and support from the label. The tour was doing fantastic. About two weeks into the tour, Jack went off on a drug binge. He got on a plane. He was supposed to be Lubbock [Texas], where we were supposed to be playing. He goes to Phoenix [Arizona]. I have to add, he was thrown off the plane because he was so fucked up. That stopped the tour right there and that put a stop to our transition tour to headlining act. It was so frustrating because at the time that he did this, the tour was 70% sold already. It was already sold-out in the Northeast, which is a hard market to sell out shows. He totally fucking derailed us. I still stood by the guy. He completely fucked up the band at that point. I don’t think the band ever truly recovered from that. So, for Jack to have an attitude about anything is just outrageous. The guy is a criminal — that’s a fact. The last time I wore a suit was to go to his probation hearing where I spoke on Jack’s behalf. There were looking at me and my English accent and they like, “Oh well, if he says so then it must be true.”
Jack can be the best company. Back in the day, you could have the best nights of your life with him. He is funny and he can be a delight to spend time with but he’s a complex character. There are some negative aspects to Jack. I think the mistake I made with Jack was that I could be Professor Higgins [My Fair Lady]. I thought that I could help him develop into someone really special. Jack’s negative characteristics confounded me in the end.