GREAT WHITE singer Jack Russell has retained the services of The Law Offices of Michael Kelly to protect his rights to make his living and play under the name of the band that he founded in 1978.
Kelly has represented high-profile rock stars in disputes for more than 35 years.
Although Russell has had several public battles with addiction and issues with his health, “he has always been the lead vocalist for GREAT WHITE, and any other vocalist involved was there only to fill in until he was able to return,” reads an official press release from Russell‘s new legal team. “It has never been stated, in public or private, that Russell was leaving GREAT WHITE permanently.”
After several discussions with GREAT WHITE‘s management, Russell in December decided to continue as the band’s lead vocalist without the current touring members. He has brought in former members of GREAT WHITE, as well as other musicians he has worked with previously, and in order to avoid any confusion, will be touring and performing under the name JACK RUSSELL’S GREAT WHITE.
Although the current touring members of GREAT WHITE came out with a statement saying that they were “shocked” by Jack‘s decision, Russell‘s legal team says that “it has since been discovered that prior to any conversations or correspondence with Russell, they filed an application (of which Russell‘s name was omitted) to trademark the band name GREAT WHITE, of which Russell was the founding member, and the only consistent member since its inception. This information was discovered by Russell‘s legal team, and he was never informed of this by the other band members or management.”
Along with Kelly, Russell has hired the legal team of Brian Acree and Brenda Carey, and all proper legal actions are now in motion. The Law Firm of Carey Acree is praised among industry insiders for their expertise in these sorts of matters and has begun taking the necessary legal actions. He has also enlisted the help of his longtime friend and legendary entertainment attorney Stan Diamond.
Says Russell‘s legal team: “Despite threats, defaming and untrue comments made by Russell‘s former band members and manager, he has every right to use the name of the band he founded, and no legal actions can be taken against anyone booking, promoting, publicizing, or working with JACK RUSSELL’S GREAT WHITE in any capacity, and all entities will be indemnified of such.”
In an interview with Metal Sludge, Russell stated about his estranged bandmates, “I don’t care what they say. The proof is in the pudding. Everyone is going to see that Jack is back, that it’s all rumors. I mean, do people really give a shit if I’m sober or not? They can come, they’ll see I look great, I sound great. I want everyone to come out and see. This January 14 thing is just a jam, and only four-fifths of the band is going to be there because Matt Johnson is going to be in Texas, but starting in February, I’m doing a a tour.”
When asked about the rumors of his poor health, Jack said, “I am fine. I just bought a 45-foot boat, and I’m living on it in Redondo Beach, my old stomping ground when GREAT WHITE was its most successful. It’s nice to see my favorite sushi restaurant and favorite Italian restaurant are still around. I go fishing three times a week, and I’m in great shape. All these rumors from the other camp about me being not healthy and everyone being afraid I am going to die, it’s all B.S. Those guys haven’t talked to me in months. They haven’t talked to me, so come on, give me a break. Who even cares? I can still sing great. End of story.”
Regarding the fact that the GREAT WHITE guys and their manager have a totally different opinion on whether Jack is fit to keep going, the singer said, “They’re just trying to make me look bad. They feel scared and threatened, and they should be. They don’t own the name. This is my band. Everyone knows this is my band. I started in 1978 and changed the name in 1982. The others, they came in because I was the one who invited them. It was cool for a while before all this crap started. They don’t own the name, they don’t own the logo. [GREAT WHITE‘s manager] Obi Steinman sues everyone in the world, but I’m lucid, I’m clear, and I’m sober. Just because I had a rough year and a half does not mean that I gave up on my band. My name has always been synonymous with GREAT WHITE. I came up with the name, and I am entitled to use it. The other GREAT WHITE, with Terry Illous singing my songs and my lyrics, now he’s sticking his name into this, covering my tunes. Write your own stuff, dude.”
JACK RUSSELL’S GREAT WHITE