Great Singer Jack Russell recently announced after a lengthly absence from the band due to a bowel perforation, that he was returning as vocalist, but with a whole new lineup. This was a shock for the current band members, who knew nothing about any of this.
Russell says he feels “better than ever” and will be touring early next year under the name Great White featuring Jack Russell to “avoid any confusion” with Great White. His (suddenly former) bandmates Mark Kendall (guitar), Michael Lardie (guitar, keyboards), Scott Snyder (bass), Audie Desbrow (drums), and Terry Ilous (singer of XYZ, who’s handled vocals in Russell’s long absence) released a statement, saying Russell’s announcement was a “complete shock” and that Jack “has been fighting drug and alcohol abuse for many years.” They also said they had to cancel shows due to his inability to perform, and that he has had five major surgeries over the past two years due to his body breaking down due to drug abuse. Russell had to have colostomy surgery from a perforated bowel, which saved his life but sidelined him with a colostomy bag for a year.
“We stood by Jack; we supported his sobriety and eagerly awaited his return,” they say, but there were conditions, including drug testing and a drug-free lifestyle. “We will not sit by and enable our brother to abuse alcohol and drugs to kill himself. We have lost too many loved ones to this madness. After the passing of our dear friend, the talented Jani Lane, it has become more evident that this has to stop. It must end.” Great White claim Russell doesn’t have the right to start his own version of Great White and that they plan to continue to play (with Ilous). “We hope and pray that Jack gets healthy, happy and sober,” concluded his ex bandmates. “His health and well being is the only thing that matters.”
Great, just what we need, another band touring with two versions of itself. It’s apparent what version will be the best, especially by the look of the press photo of Russell. Not looking so hot, my man. Photos can be deceiving however, so time will tell if the ‘Great White featuring Jack Russell’ tour will even happen.