Jack Russell’s Great White will be performing in Denver this weekend as part of their “High Seas World Tour.” As fans know, band members are in the middle of litigation involving the rights to the name of Great White. The band played their first gig in 1981 at The Troubadour in Hollywood, California and over the years have had their shares of ups and downs. Don Dokken produced their first EP, Out of the Night. The band hit the mainstream in 1987 when they released Once Bitten…, which featured the hits “Rock Me” and “Save Your Love.” In 1989, Great White released …Twice Shy, which included their biggest hit “Once Bitten, Twice Shy”, (an Ian Hunter cover). In 2001, Jack Russell announced the end of Great White. The band eventually got back together, although without some of the original members. On February 20, 2003, the tragic night club fire at The Station in Rhode Island pushed the band back into the national spotlight. That night, 101 people died, including the band’s guitarist, Ty Longley. The band reformed its classic lineup in 2006. Jack Russell endured several health issues in 2010 and 2011, but the band had vocalists fill in. Due to some issues within the band, there is now Great White and Jack Russell’s Great White. What the outcome will be is up to the court system, and only time will tell. I recently had an opportunity to speak with Jack Russell about the classic Great White, Jack Russell’s Great White and the ups and downs he has endured throughout the past few years.
When I spoke with Russell, he was in good spirits, sounded well and was excited about the upcoming tour. As the interview started, he said, “I’ve fired the old band due to irreconcilable differences. I have found some amazing musicians who are young and hungry.” He is excited about the new line up and still has a passion for making music. At the time of the interview, the band had just started to perform together. “It’s been really great, and we’ve had an overwhelming response. We are still getting used to each other on stage and the crowd is great,” he said of the band.
It’s no secret that Russell hasn’t had his share of problems and struggle with addiction. He says that he is clean and sober and the road isn’t hard for him. “The road is a safe place for me. My voice is very important to me. I’ve been so close to dying that I don’t want to risk it anymore”, he says of his sobriety. He then talked about the classic Great White with great emotion. “I played with those guys for years. I’ve been horribly hurt and in tears. They’ve been my family since 1978. It’s amazing how people can become cold and callous over money,” he said.
Russell is excited about the upcoming show in Denver and has a message for the fans: “Come out and see the show. I’m in great shape and I feel great!”
The band has officially confirmed that they will be attending and participating in the upcoming Rock N Roll Fantasy Camp taking place in Hollywood, California during the first week of May.
Jack Russell’s Great White is: Jack Russell (vocals), Robby Lochner (guitar), Matthew Johnson (guitar), Dario Seixas (bass) and Derrick Pontier (drums)
For more information about Jack Russell’s Great White: http://jacksgreatwhite.com/
For Denver ticket information: http://casselmans.com/
For more information about the Rock N Roll Fantasy Camp: www.rockcamp.com