A Jack Russell is a small, annoying breed of dog, and a great white is a shark. What do you get when you put them together? A legendary American rock band. Actually, there is a bit more to it than that. Great White were formed in 1981, although their origins date to 1977. They were active until 2001, during which time they were fronted by Jack Russell. After that, things get a bit complicated as they tend to with time-serving rock bands. For example: Wishbone Ash and Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash are two different bands.
Leaving aside any legal complications, in February 2003, while touring as Jack Russell’s Great White, a fire broke out at the Station nightclub, Rhode Island during a concert. This left a hundred people dead including guitarist Ty Longley. A tragedy of this scale would have finished a lot of bands, but not Jack Russell, who has also struggled with other problems including a serious back injury.
The band known as Great White can be found here. They have tour dates lined up from next month, but of course nothing is certain as things stand. Jack Russell’s Great White can be found here, and again nothing is certain regarding tour dates.
Great White’s peak was probably 1987 till about 1992. I actually saw the band in 1991, and here’s the proof. They were supported by Kiss Of The Gypsy. Their biggest hits were Once Bitten, Twice Shy and House Of Broken Love.
Once Bitten, Twice Shy was actually written by Ian Hunter; it was his first single after splitting with Mott The Hoople in 1975. House Of Broken Love is strictly personal. Curiously, in spite of its title, Once Bitten, Twice Shy does not appear on the current offering, neither does House Of Broken Love, but you can hear both along with the show opener Move It on this live recording I taped back in the day.
Once Bitten Acoustic Bytes is available pre-order from Cleopatra Records. It begins with Lady Redlight – you know who she is – and ends with Babe I’m Gonna Leave You, a cover of a 1950s folk song that was recorded by Led Zepellin in 1969. Gonna Getcha, Rock Me and All Over Now will be well known to Great White fans. Song number eight Living On The Edge could be the soundtrack to Russell’s life. He will be sixty in December this year, although one senses he will be around for a good few years yet. And hopefully recording new material.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.