GREAT WHITE and co-founding member/original lead singer Jack Russell have announced that they have entered into an agreement settling their pending litigation over the GREAT WHITE name.
In March, 2012, Russell sued his former bandmates Mark Kendall, Michael Lardie and Audie Desbrow over their continuing use of GREAT WHITE after Russell had taken a leave of absence from the band for medical reasons. The band countersued, and the parties have been involved in contentious litigation for the last year. After three days of closed-door mediation before U.S. Magistrate Judge Carla Woehrle, the parties reached a comprehensive agreement. While many of the terms of the agreement will remain confidential, it can be revealed that, going forward, the current GREAT WHITE band will continue to use the name GREAT WHITE and Russell will perform under the name JACK RUSSELL’S GREAT WHITE.
In his original lawsuit, Russell claimed that his formed bandmates kicked him out of GREAT WHITE 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 in April 2012 in a federal court in Los Angeles accusing their former frontman 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 Jack‘s new band “were once full members of GREAT WHITE.” They also accused Russell‘s new bandmates of “profit[ing] from their wrongful affiliation with the GREAT WHITE brand.”
Asked if he could ever envision himself reconciling with his former GREAT WHITE bandmates, Jack told “Rockin Metal Revival” back in January: “No way! Absolutely not. Not over my dead body. Too many things have been said, and too many lies, and just too much hurt, man. I’ve had the knife stuck in way too deep. I can forgive them, but I can’t forget. It’s like we were brothers, man, and we were there through thick and thin, and when it came down to it, no, we weren’t. It was all a big façade for the public. It’s sad; it really is. It was a just a really lousy finale for a once-great rock band.”
GREAT WHITE featuring singer Terry Ilous:
JACK RUSSELL’S GREAT WHITE: