GREAT WHITE Singer JACK RUSSELL: ‘I Was In A Coma For Five Days’

Anna Cox of Easy Reader News recently conducted an interview with GREAT WHITE singer Jack Russell. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

On the legal battle with his estranged bandmates over the “Great White” trademark:

Jack: “I founded the band in 1978…. Obviously, I’m not gonna go down without a fight. This is my baby. This is my vision, my creation. This is my whole life’s work.”

On spending his time in Redondo Beach, California on a 45-foot yacht with his new wife, the nurse who cared for him for seven months:

Jack: “One of the best places I’ve dove is Bahia delos Angeles, 400 miles south of the border on the Cortez side…. I fish for Mako sharks…. The sea is my church…. I’m really a normal guy. I’m not a rock star 24/7. I smell like fish and diesel fuel. I fix my own stuff. I work on my own boat.”

On losing five inches of height due to 20 years of prednisone use, compressing his spine:

Jack: “I used to be 5′ 11”. I’ve [also] lost a couple of stupidly high notes, stuff I haven’t used since I was a kid, like in the early ’80s where it was cool to sing as high as you possibly could . . . notes only the dogs could hear.

“I just lost a good friend of mine to this disease [alcoholism], Jani Lane from WARRANT, who died the same day [August 11, 2011] I had my surgery to repair a shattered pelvis. I was dead. I died. I was flat-lined on the table from sepsis from a bowel perforation. I was in a coma for five days. . . . Steven Tyler from AEROSMITH called me a couple days later and said, ‘Dude, what are you doing?’ He’s always been my sober coach. That really woke me up. I’m just so happy to be sober.”

On what he wants to be known for:

Jack: “Being a decent human being, good songwriter, good singer, just a loving, caring person — that’s what I want to be known for.”

On his plans for a global tour starting this February:

Jack: “[We will play] mostly just classic GREAT WHITE, some solo stuff…. We’re going all over the world. We’ve got offers from Europe, Australia, Japan, South America. I’m excited about this.”

On playing with his reconstituted band, which was given a slightly different name to avoid confusion with the old group — JACK RUSSELL’S GREAT WHITE:

Jack: “Right now I think the biggest misconception is that I’m not ready to go back on the road…. [But] you can tell I’m not crippled here. The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated. I’m lucid. I’m sober. I feel great. I am ready to go back on the road…. Once people see me on stage, they’ll go, ‘Oh, well, there you go.'”

Read more from Easy Reader News.