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Great White vs. Jack Russell

by Derric Miller
Staff Writer —

Great White vs. Jack Russell — A Lesson in Character Assassination from The Guys Who Wrote “The Angel Song”

By now, you are most likely aware that former Great White singer Jack Russell has completed a lineup for his version of Great White and is going on tour, competing with the other band who replaced his vocal presence with the talented former XYZ singer and all around good guy Terry Ilous. That aside, if you believe that Ilous was on board with these clearly vindictive, petty, off-color, hyperbolic and immature comments from the band regarding Russell … you are probably wrong. For instance (

• 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.
• 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.
• Jack was first slated to return to GREAT WHITE this past summer. Unfortunately, his frail body and his drug abuse prohibited this event.
• Time and again, Jack Russell has let down his band and fans. His addictions have ruined his life the past eight years.

Let’s dissect what the band is saying. He “routinely” fell on and off the stage. He was “vanquished” to spend a year with a colostomy bag; so Russell was shunned and defeated, instead of recuperating post-surgery? He is a waif, a frail body? He cares nothing for his friends, for his band, for his fans … only his overwhelming and all-consuming addictions?

Doesn’t “Jack abuses drugs” explain everything? Did these gents need to sling karmic shit his way, talk so intimately about his perforated bowels and colostomy bag? Do the fans of the music care to even know that Russell had to endure this level of invasive surgery to try to get back on the road? And if so, knowing what we shouldn’t know but do anyway … doesn’t this prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Russell has overcome a universe of negativity and doubt and addiction and pain to get himself back on the road again … for his fans?

Comments regarding Russell like, “And we’d like him to come back when he’s 150 percent ready, if you follow my line of thinking,” are more self-explanatory than guitarist Mark Kendall knows. Yeah, Kendall, we get it — no human is ever at 150 percent ready. Humans tend to top out around 100 percent ready. You don’t want him back … ever. But did you see the NAMM performance? Jack IS back:

So why didn’t they want him back? Well, Russell admittedly cost the band an unspecified amount of money. He did it because he was a drug addict. If your livelihood depends on a drug addict, it’s probably not very lively. But in a recent Metal Sludge interview (, it’s clear Russell is back on track, saying all the right things, which means accepting blame for his addictions and how it negatively impacted Great White. He is not pointing fingers, delving into their personal lives, and says time and time again he wishes them the best of luck.

It’s completely insane to believe the average fan can read the recent press release by Great White — one that vomited steaming piles of conflicting ideas like “His health and well being are the only things that matters,” but that were precursored by taunting messages about colostomy bag vanquishing — and talk yourself into the idea that “these guys really do care.”

They don’t … except maybe Ilous.

It’s money. Everything is always about money. If Great White was smart, they would have first privately informed Russell that they simply don’t trust him anymore and they are better off with Ilous. They would have thanked him and not listened to any argument he made to rejoin the band because he let them down so many times … it turns into a battle between “words” and “deeds,” and we all know what matters in the end. Russell killed their trust, and he accepts blame. He CAN’T blame them.

But to so coldly betray 30 years of musical brotherhood, of millions of albums in sales, to self-immolate whatever Classic/Hard Rock legacy Great White would leave behind … isn’t all that great.

A Pyrrhic victory is still a loss in the end.

So maybe the sharks in Great White, before going public again with their frightened and maddeningly visceral attacks, should turn on “The Angel Song” and listen to the words, “Fallen angel, ripped and bruised … think on better days.” There’s a healthier and ultimately far more effective and human way to handle this breakup than trying to kill Russell in the court of public opinion. The pretense they made public is to “Hope and pray that Jack gets healthy,” yet they are actually conveying the opposite in everything they do.


28 Comments on Great White vs. Jack Russell

  1. Mr Russell you have a great voice you are up there with the top front men keep the faith you will sucseed

  2. Longtimefan // November 17, 2012 at 12:14 pm //

    Thomas hate to spoil your day but Jack doesnt sing for Great White anymore. His band plays Great White songs and us longtimefans refer to them as Fake White.Jack can and will sing GreatWhite songs all he wants but it is false advertisement for his backup band to call themselves Great White.Good to see Jack is out there again but he has half the vocal range as Terry Ilous and for my money I would rather see the real Great White featuring Kendall,Desbrow,Lardie,Snyder&Ilous any day!

  3. I attended Fridays show at The House Of Rock in White Marsh Md . Great show except for the feedback that was fixed after the 4th song .. But Jack kicked ass .. I really couldnt tell the differance ,, It was Great White to me i saw . Without Jack they would be a cover band to me .

  4. I attended Fridays show at The House Of Rock in White Marsh Md . Great show except for the feedback that was fixed after the 4th song .. But Jack kicked ass .. I really couldnt tell the differance ,, It was Great White to me i saw . Without Jack they would be a cover band to me .

  5. You all are killing me… I’m dying laughing at you fools.

    Georgina, you sound like a disgruntled ex girlfriend. Lemme guess, Jack personally did you wrong some how? Why all the venom? BTW, Jack owns the name Great White and holds the copywrites to the logos, etc. equally with the others so, he can do whatever he wants with them. He chose to tweak the name to rule out any confusion (ala LA Guns, Faster Pussycat).

    Chris Taylor… try a reading comprehension class. “A lesson in character assassination from the guys that wrote ‘The Angel Song'” Who’s assassinating Jack’s character? That would be Kendall. Who whote the Angel Song? That would be Kendall.

    Bottom line here… both versions of Great White (and I’ve been a fan since the Lorne Black days when they were called Dante Fox) are irrelevant unless you are a fan and they are both ready, as sad as it is to say, ready to be put out to pasture. Aside from that, you cannot argue this point… the VOICE is the Band.

    Motley without Vince; Priest without Halford; Skid Row without Bas; Queensryche without Tate… they ain’t the same. AC/DC is the only band to replace a singer and find success. One in a million…

  6. Let me tell a little story about Klaus Meine .. He needed surgeries in 1981 while recording Blackout to repair his vocal cords. The loyality,support and friendship amongst his band mates kept them together as they waited for Klaus to heal. He could have been replaced but would The Scorpions been successful had they chose to find someone else? Sure were talking drugs and booze but friendship and loyality to one another is what was missing here. And why dont we hear about someone stepping up and having an intervention.

  7. new guys not bad i agree though just like motley without vince was good was not motley great white should change their name

  8. Longtimefan // October 23, 2012 at 7:14 pm //

    Great White doesnt mention Jack at thier shows.They dont need to.They are over it.At Jacks shows he says to the crowd “Im not Terry” well no shit.And the crowd yells back”and thats not Great White!” Jack is a nice enough guy and he used to be a good singer but he fucked that all up and has nobody to blame but himself. I think there is room for 5 Great Whites out there! We can all go to a battle of the bands and decide for ourselves who is the best! Terry is an awesome singer fronting the only lineup that should ever legally be allowed to use the Great White name.

  9. Holy hell, some of you people must be int eh 12-13 year old age range, everyone has their demons. Not one of us can say we are perfect, some problems are larger than others, but problems nonetheless. Jack Russell is a great guy, sure he fell victim to the typical 80’s 90’s drug use that was so common for music those days, (anyone remember the saying: Sex, DRUGS, and Rock n’ Roll). I think its pretty awesome they are playing Bars, as a matter of fact, my band is playing with them tonight, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Jack on a few occasions and he is a genuine dude. So all of you judgemental, ego maniacs, can back off I don’t see you on stage anywhere, how many vinyl records did your band put out? how many of you haters have been doing this for 30 + years????

  10. Tim Saurwein // May 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm //

    Jack Russell is the voice of Great White, with or without the old band. Terry Ilous will never be the singer Jack is. Besides Jack Russells Great White rocks twice as hard as the old band….


  11. They are both washed up.

  12. Thank you for the passionate comments, whether you agree or disagree with the article. This is proof once again that Great White was one of the torch bearers of the ’80s Hard Rock movement and they are still relevent today. If they weren’t … there’d be no thread on this article …

  13. Great White was the first concert I went to when I was sixteen years old, in 1993. So, I’m not the oldest fan but I do love Great White. I have seen them in Tucson were I live and traveled to Las Vegas, LA and Phoenix to see them perform. I was at the Key Club for January 2007 show for the harbor seals front row of course. Im always front row when I see Great White, even at shows at fairs when I wait in the heat of the summer in Tucson for Great White to hit the stage. I have such mix feelings about what is going on. I love Jack Russell as a lead singer. And I was planning on going to the other Great White show this Thursday in LA at The Key Club. But now I dont know if I will make the effort. 30 years is a long time to be together and not try to fix. We have demons and issues. And no one on here needs to be judging anyone. Always loving Great White.

  14. Georgina // March 13, 2012 at 7:51 am //

    Dearest Smitten, you are a real piece of work..
    Umm, Great White had to ‘hire’ someone to fill in for the terrier, it’s call fulfilling contracts with promoters for already booked shows..I guess according to you and everyone else, they should have thought more for poor drugged out Jack and cancelled all those bookings? Jani didn’t last long as a fill in because of his DRINKING…wow, what a concept..Terry became the fill in, and it became perminent when the terrier decided drugs were #1 in his life..I sure wish some of those emails would surface from him to his bandmates, I think it would open everyones eyes as who the true Jack Russell really is..maybe they will when it goes to court..

  15. Georgina, Georgina take a chill pill! Damn! If the other members of Great White were so worried about their singers health and addictions , why in the hell would they hire Jani Lane to replace him when Jack was ill? Yes the same Jani Lane that died a few months back from acute alchol poisining! Sounds a little hypocritical to me! Great White without Jack Russell is not even close to being Great White! Don’t watch some video on youtube go see a show before you judge how he sings! As to playing bars so be it Great White played the same bar that Jack played on Saturday and didn’t pull half the crowd that Jack pulled in! Can’t have a good band without a voice!

  16. Georgina // March 12, 2012 at 6:47 pm //

    See, that’s just it, all you JACK LOVERS haven’t got a clue. You are all obsessed fans, who worships the toilet Jack Russell shits in every day..Did you live with him day in and day out on the road? Hell no you didn’t, so how can you sit here and defend him? 30 years of PERSONALLY knowing someone is like being married..Jack Russell is a washed up has been and he sure needs to make sure the polly grip works when he does open his mouth…
    Demons, sick and addict…who does that remind you of Loyal shark fan of the captian..look in the mirror..or visit the bar Jack Russell will be in performing with his monkeys..

  17. Loyal Shark to my Captain // March 12, 2012 at 2:41 pm //

    We are HUMANS!!! At least SOME OF US ARE!!! All YOU JR haters how can you walk this earth thinking YOU are better than any HUMAN BEING on this earth. I’m sure you have your own DEMONS & SKELETONS!! I’m sure YOUR own so called MINDS are SICK and need help too! I’m sure you have YOUR own addictions. Quit the sick comments and get a LIFE!! SOME OF US FANS have been around this BAND before you people were concieved!! So YOU DON’T KNOW NOT ALL GREAT WHITE MEMBERS ARE PURE & WHITE!!!! THEY HAVE THEIR DEMONS TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    ENUFF SAID!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Saw Jack Russell’s Great White last night in Ramona! Fantasic show! Jack’s voice was superb and he never fell off the stage once! The band he has backing him up was just as fantastic! The two guitarists he is using were right on! The other members of the original Great White might want to rethink their opinion of Jack Russell! Jack is BACK!!!!!!!!!

  19. Georgina // March 11, 2012 at 4:51 pm //

    OMG, you’ve got to be kidding me..right? First of all, the picture of Jack with is much younger hired hands is a copy right infringement, that logo is trademarked, so he can’t use it, I request that Hardrockheaven TAKE IT DOWN..and this BS about these shows being sold out is not true, how many people can you fit into a bar, they have fire codes, so sold out isn’t true..And the youtube videos from the shows, joke ! Jack sounds like crap as well as the band..this is not GREAT WHITE, this is a hired band with Jack Russell..And lastly, why would 4 members of Great White ALL say the same thing about Jack ? His health and addictions are what they cared about, they wanted him better..well HE AIN’T BETTER. If he was, he would have agreed with his BAND and his FRIENDS to do the right thing, sober up, and get healthy so he could return with them, obviously Jack answered with, screw you, who cares if I’m fucked up all the time, people love me, and I’ll just start something new…what ever Jack..LOOSER ! ! Play your bars..

  20. jaack is a fuckin punk! i have met jack on several occasions & i have opend for great white on a few occasions my persona/ & professional oppinion of jack R fuck him ,fuckin punk. mark & audie are very cool.

  21. Sandie Kanne // March 9, 2012 at 2:53 pm //

    Chris, REALLY? The youtube gigs from Florida just the other day are rockin!! You sound begrudged, like that other camp, it’s clearly clouding your comprehension skills too cuz I completely understood the point the writer is making.

  22. Chris,

    “from The Guys Who Wrote “The Angel Song,” AKA Mark Kendall and Alan Niven.

    “A Lesson in Character Assassination” AKA the current Mark Kendall led Great White.

    You took that out of context as it isn’t stated or implied that Jack Russell wrote the “Angel Song” … other than that thx for expressing an opinion on the subject matter.

  23. Chris Taylor // March 9, 2012 at 7:55 am //

    The Angel Song was not written by Jack Russel. The song was written by Mark Kendall and Alan Niven. Check your sources before you write an article. I like Jack Russel, but I have seen way too many times, him screw up because of his drug habits. Jack is NOT back… he sounds horrible and washed up.

  24. Woody Morrison // March 9, 2012 at 6:03 am //

    It seems to me that Great White is becoming worried about their future. For JR’s Great White is now just beginning and as long as Jack keeps it together, they should be. So Captain Jack and shipmates, KEEP ROCKING Brothers!! Great article and thanks for the insight.

  25. Great White with out Jack Russell is like led Zep with out robert plant, Im glad to see jack back up and running again and look foward to seeing his shows. as for the other great white…. well without the voice there aint no great white.

  26. Gannon Geiger // March 8, 2012 at 5:36 pm //

    Captain Jack Russell is Great White! Always has been and always will be!

  27. Sandie Kanne // March 8, 2012 at 5:24 pm //

    They don’t deserve to be able to listen to Jack’s voice any longer!! Great write up Derric………THANK YOU!

  28. Randy Marsh // March 8, 2012 at 2:25 pm //

    No matter how good Terry Ilous is, Great White without Jack Russell is not Great White and they should not carry on as such. Period.


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