Ethan Sacks of the New York Daily News reports:

A wildly differing account of the deadly 2003 Rhode Island nightclub fire has flared up long-simmering tensions among the former members of Great White.

Original guitarist Mark Kendall, performing at the time of the fire that left 100 dead, told TMZ Tuesday that the band that played that night wasn’t the “official” lineup of Great White, but singer Jack Russell’s solo act.

“I sat in with his band because his solo tour wasn’t doing very well,” Kendall told a TMZ videographer.

“Then that tragedy happened and CNN just ran out and said it was Great White like it was the original band.”

As proof he pointed to Jack Russell Touring as the defendant in the lawsuits that resulted in the aftermath.

But several sources, including Russell himself, debunked that claim to the Daily News.

They all said Great White was the official name of the band that hit the stage of The Station in Warwick, R.I., on Feb. 20, 2003.

“I just wanted to throw up when I heard he said that,” says Russell. “I’m not saying it’s anyone’s fault. But to not acknowledge that he was there, and trying to distance himself from the event … why even bring it up now?”

An insider close to the band also told the News that Kendall toured with Russell as Great White for two years after The Station tragedy to raise money for the families of the victim.

“Ridiculous,” the source said. “It was a Great White tour. Nobody else was touring as Great White. Jack was the lead singer, and was the only one who had not quit the group at one time or another.”

Russell, who formed the band with his childhood friend Kendall when they were teens, believes the recent salvo stems from the discord over the use of the Great White name.

The singer tours as Jack Russell’s Great White and Kendall plays with the band’s first drummer, Audie Desbrow, in Great White.

All of the hard rockers have also had been haunted by the horrific blaze that killed 100 people and injuring 200 others when pyrotechnics engulfed the foam lining the club’s walls and ceiling.

…A rep for Kendall’s Great White declined to elaborate on the guitarist’s comments further.

“It’s sad,” says Russell. “I started the band with him when I was 17 years old…”

Read more at the New York Daily News.


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  • Rattlehead on

    I think it’s pathetic that Kendall finds it necessary to comment like this in an sick attempt to distance himself from this tragedy. People died at an event where they should have been enjoying themselves watching a live band perform. End of story. It’s irrelevant to attempt to split hairs over the incident…

  • Tyger of Pan Tang on

    The numerous and vicious trademark battles that go on among former bandmates make sense when you look at what happened here.

  • Nitroman on

    Really Kendall, does it matter after all these years? 100 fellow rockers died in this tragedy..who gives a s–t who was actually on stage? !!!!!

  • Bill Zwerz on

    How is this news?
    People’s live were destroyed because of this tragic incident. It’s an insult to the survivors and the victim’s families to see nonsense like this in the press . Who really cares what was the true “definition” of Great White at the time of the show? NOBODY!

    • Dana on

      I guess it was a slow news day, Bill.

      On a serious note, the reason I posted it was because I was shocked at how unprofessional Kendall sounded in those sound bytes to the press. It seems Russell takes a lot of the blame from his former bandmates, and maybe rightly so, but how do demean your former singer and then behave in such a selfish, and unconscionable, way?

      People lost their lives and loved ones in that fire and all you can think about is shifting blame? His comments speak volumes about his character.


    • Harold Taint on

      Bill, do you understand the purpose of the media? You seem to be operating on a first grade level with your critique. Realize how great life will be once you get to middle school!!! Keep trying, you will eventually get there.

  • DR Is Live on

    There was a period in time where the original line up was a favorite of mine. I saw them open for Priest on the Defenders tour and was ‘hooked’ pardon the pun. Remember Kendall’s shark guitar that he played during the Once Bitten days? He was a fierce player and Russell in his prime was a fantastic bluesy singer. I remember these guys lip syncing Rock Me on solid gold. So sad what this band has turned into after such a tragic event.

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