GREAT WHITE Guitarist: JACK RUSSELL Went Down Worst Drug-Abuse Highway I’ve Ever Witnessed

“The Classic Metal Show” recently conducted an interview with GREAT WHITE guitarist Mark Kendall. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.

Asked about whether he can see why some fans may feel it’s hypocritical for GREAT WHITE to tell its former lead singer, Jack Russell, that he can’t “party” anymore when the entire band had a reputation for being one of the hardest-partying acts of the 1980s, Kendall said, “Well, I think… Partying is one thing, but major drug abuse where it’s destroying your body is a different thing; it’s on a different level. I work with a lot of struggling addicts and alcoholics, and the reason most of them are successful is because they wanna be well, and I don’t think we were really getting that with Jack. It’s really frustrating. I put my heart and soul into him, trying to get him well. I was his pain-medication guy. I’ve tried everything. You know, it’s difficult, man. I wish he would really, really just flush his body of all the stuff he does to it, and just get well. That’s all I can say about that.”

Kendall also addressed the possibility of GREAT WHITE one day reconciling with its former singer and returning to its classic formation. “He’s suing us [over the rights to the group’s name], [so] it’s hard to even answer that right now,” he said. “I really can’t envision… I mean, if he was truly well… I’m not sure. It’s difficult to answer when we’re in the middle of everything we are.”

He added, “[Jack] is a person that’s gone down the worst drug-abuse highway that I’ve ever witnessed in my life. This isn’t like, ‘Oh, we got into a fight and we’re just over each other. He just self-destructed. This is nothing that anybody wanted to see happen. We’ve waited, we’ve tried, everybody’s fought to try to get him well. I mean, I’ve been at his bedside in rehab day after day going, ‘You can do it.’ I’ve cried in family meetings, just saying, ‘I don’t think you have another bender in you, buddy. C’mon. You can do it. One day at a time.’ The whole thing. So it’s totally not easy to watch or be a witness to… I don’t know what to say.

“I’ve seen some of the YouTube [clips of him] playing [with his new band] and I know what he’s capable of and I’m not seeing it — I’m seeing somebody who’s struggling, he’s not singing well. He looks like he can barely stand up. It’s not the Jack Russell I’ve known — the guy flying around the stage and taking command like he did in the past. It’s just addiction; it’s ugly.”

“The Classic Metal Show” can be heard heard Saturdays from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. online and uncensored at

Interview (audio):


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