GREAT WHITE Members Counter Sue Former Vocalist JACK RUSSELL

Great White

According to and, Great White lead guitarist Mark Kendall, drummer Audie Desbrow and guitarist/keyboardist/backing vocalist Michael Lardie have counter sued the band’s former singer, Jack Russell, after he filed a lawsuit against his former bandmates claiming that they kicked him out of the band and stole the group’s name while he was recovering from surgery to repair a perforated bowel.

Kendall, Desbrow and Lardie filed a 30-page counterclaim on April 24th in a federal court in Los Angeles accusing Russell of, among other things, “miss[ing] 80 performances in 18 months” before leaving the band; “irreparably damag[ing]” their “market reputation” by putting on performances that “are not up to the standard of Great White; and misleading the public by stating that the musicians in Russell’s new band-which is performing under the name Jack Russell’s Great White-“were once full members of Great White.” They also accuse Russell’s new bandmates of “profit[ing] from their wrongful affiliation with the Great White brand.”

Excerpts from Kendall, Desbrow and Lardie’s counterclaim:

“Russell has stated that he was Great White’s creative director. In fact, [former manager] Alan Niven was the band’s creative director from 1982-1995. He got the band signed to major label deals. Between 1985 and 1995, Niven wrote some of the music, most of the lyrics and, with Lardie (and sometimes Kendall), produced all the band’s records. During this period, Great White achieved its greatest commercial success.

At the height of his powers, Russell had a strong voice. He was noted for an ability to sing almost exactly like Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin. However, Russell never contributed substantially to songs or creative direction. He never learned to play guitar or piano. Sometimes during the final recording process he would suggest changes to vocal phrasing. Russell was often given a songwriting credit if he made any contribution at all, so as to maintain harmony within the band.

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Jack Russell's Great White



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