Let the lawsuits began but I think from what I read I got to side with the “present” Great White.
GREAT WHITE members Mark Kendall (lead guitar), Scott Snyder (bass), Audie Desbrow (drums), Michael Lardie (guitar, keyboards) and Terry Ilous (lead vocals) have responded to founding singer Jack Russell‘s announcement that he is planning to hit the road in early 2012 with a brand new version of GREAT WHITE.
Russell revealed over the weekend that he was joining forces with Matthew Johnson (former guitarist for GREAT WHITE), Derrick Pontier, (former drummer for GREAT WHITE), Dario Seixas (former bassist for FIREHOUSE and the Stephen Pearcy band) and Robby Lochner (former guitarist for Rob Halford‘s band and Cherie Currie) in a new incarnation of the classic ’80s rock act, with plans to tour under the name GREAT WHITE FEATURING JACK RUSSELL in order to “try [to] avoid any confusion” with any other group calling itself GREAT WHITE.
Russell spent time earlier this year recovering from major surgery after suffering a perforated bowel (a medical emergency in which a hole in the bowel opens to allow its contents to empty into the rest of the abdominal cavity). Singer Terry Ilous of XYZ stepped in to replace Russell on lead vocals.
Kendall, Snyder, Desbrow, Lardie and Ilous have released the following statement in response to Russell‘s announcement:
“First and foremost, our main concern is our fans.
“We have spent 30 years trying to be the best we can be and bring our fans the top quality of music they have become accustomed to and deserve.
“It saddens 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 lineup. 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 and alcohol 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 the point that he routinely fell on and off stage, forgot lyrics and we had to cancel shows due to his inability to perform.
“In the past two years, Jack has had 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 awaited his return.
“Jack was first slated to return to GREAT WHITE this past summer. Unfortunately, his frail body and his drug abuse prohibited this event. In the following months, Jack had three more surgeries that delayed his return. Finally, he chose February 2012 as his target return date.
“We had five clear conditions 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 that caused 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 it back by February 2012. Jack referred to his doctor’s opinion that he would not be ready. He had just started physical rehabilitation again and his legs and back needed more rehab to handle the rigors of touring. Jack thought he would be ready by May to start the summer touring season. However, he wasn’t sure if he could be off the methadone by then or ever. Management reiterated that he had to be completely drug-free for his return. He owed it to the fans. He owed it to us. He owed it to himself.