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Great White is an American blues-based Hard Rock band, popular mainly in the late 1980s & early 1990s. Despite their having a number of popular albums and moderate success on the singles charts, the band is today remembered mainly due to their involvement in the 2003 The Station nightclub fire, which led to the deaths of 100 people in West Warwick, Rhode Island.

The 1980s:
Great White started life as Dante Fox, playing their first gig in 1981 at The Troubadour in Hollywood. After recording several demos, the band took on Alan Niven as manager, Niven having worked for independent distributor Greenworld (which dealt with Motley Crue's debut self-release) in Torrance, California. Greenworld released Great White's eponymous debut in 1984. Shot in the Dark, their follow-up independent release, marked the arrival of drummer Audie Desbrow who replaced original drummer Gary Holland. By the time Capitol Records signed the band and reissued Shot in the Dark, keyboardist-guitarist Michael Lardie had come aboard. After the release of "Shot in the Dark," Great White hit the road with Dokken and was on the verge of even bigger success.

The band hit the mainstream in 1987 when they released Once Bitten.... "Once Bitten..." was certified platinum in April 1988. The album featured the hit "Rock Me".

The band followed up with ...Twice Shy in (1989; see 1989 in music). The album included their biggest hit, "Once Bitten, Twice Shy", for which they received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance. The album was certified platinum in July 1989 and then double platinum in September of that same year. The model Bobbie Brown (also known for being in Warrant's "Cherry Pie" video) appeared in the video for "Once Bitten, Twice Shy". They finished off the 80s touring in support of "...Twice Shy" and with some larger bands, such as Bon Jovi.

In 1990 a heavy metal video called "HARD N HEAVY" containing music, concert footage and interviews was released. The video included Slash and Duff from Guns N' Roses appearing with the band at a "Children Of the Night" Benefit concert in LA for abused homeless children, the performance helped raise money for housing. Both bands shared the same manager.

The 1990s:
The band continued into the next decade performing "House of Broken Love" on the American Music Awards in January 1990. That spring, Great White embarked on their first tour of Japan. They soon returned stateside for the Memorial Day weekend festival, dubbed The World Series of Rock, which featured Whitesnake, Skid Row, Bad English, and Hericane Alice. Great White recorded two more albums for Capitol Hooked, which was certified gold, and Psycho City, which is to this day considered by many to be their most underrated effort. In support of Hooked, Great White toured, completing a headline tour, a guest slot with the Scorpions, and trips to Europe and Japan. Psycho City was followed by a U.S. tour with Kiss.
Although Capitol issued a "Best Of" compilation in 1993, Great White had already departed the label to begin work on their next studio release, Sail Away. Great White spent a grueling seven straight months on the road headlining clubs. According to Lardie, it was "the longest stint we ever did without a break." Great White kept up the pace once Sail Away was released on Zoo Records in 1994, touring the country several times over the following year and a half. Their next release, Let It Rock, was released through yet another label, Imago, in 1996.
In 1999 the band released Can't Get There From Here and embarked on a successful tour with Ratt, Poison, and LA Guns. The Album featured the single Rollin' Stoned, which managed to chart on the adult rock charts.

The 2000s:

The Breakup 2000-2001:
In a memo dated January 20, 2000 Mark Kendall announced he was leaving Great White, shortly thereafter both Audie Desbrow and Sean McNabb left Great White. Desbrow, clearly very unhappy with the financial state of the band posted a tirade on his website lambasting Jack Russell and Michael Lardie, while claiming to have been "fired" from Great White. Meanwhile, it was rumored that Sean McNabb was fired for going to management and asking to see the books . Despite only having one original member left, the band announced plans to begin work on a new album in late 2000. Early in the process, some of the new songs were played for John Kalodner at Columbia Records. It was mutually agreed that the "magic was gone" and the band decided their heart was not in the recording process. They subsequently left Columbia Records and discontinued work on the follow up album. On November 5, 2001 Jack Russell announced the end of Great White, stating that he was moving on, and that Great White would play one final farewell show on December 31, 2001 at the Galaxy Theatre in Santa Ana, CA. Both Kendall and McNabb rejoined the band for the farewell show and a live CD entitled "Thank You... Goodnight" that was recorded and released by Knight Records. This CD would include 2 new tracks, "Back to the Rhythm" and "Play On" from their discontinued studio sessions, both of which would ultimately wind up on their reunion album "Back to the Rhythm" in 2007.

Fake White 2002-2005:
In late 2002, in part due to his failure to attract good audiences while on the road with his solo band, Jack Russell contacted Kendall, who himself was struggling to gain an audience on his own. Kendall agreed to play some dates with Russell's band, allowing Russell to use the name Great White once again. Billed as "Jack Russell's Great White", the tour was to consist primarily of classic songs from the Great White catalog with some of Russell's solo work mixed in. Eventually, more dates were added and the tour extended through the early months of 2003.
Tragically, the band would return to the national spotlight on February 20, 2003. Pyrotechnics used by the band's crew would create a spray of sparks that ignited the foam soundproofing material behind the stage. 100 people who were at The Station night club in Rhode Island, including the band's guitarist Ty Longley, would ultimately die from the blaze.

Though the media referred to the band as "Great White" following the tragedy in Rhode Island, the band was officially performing under the moniker of "Jack Russell's Great White" at the time of the incident. In fact, prior to the fire, the band's official website posted a message stating that Great White had not reformed. It's unclear when the band began officially going by "Great White" again, but it is possible that the intense media coverage surrounding Great White caused the band to simply return to their original name in order to avoid confusion during the tours that followed.
Great White played their first full show following the Rhode Island tragedy on July 22, kicking off a benefit tour for the survivors and victims of the fire. The band would tour until 2005 to raise funds for the Station Family Fund, which had been set up to help the victims of the tragedy. In late 2005, citing "medical reasons", the band would cancel the second half of their summer tour . The "medical reasons" would prove to be Jack Russell's addictions to alcohol and cocaine. He would later detail a particular low point of being caught by his ex-wife smoking crack in a laundry room. This would prove to be the end of this version of Great White, as Jack Russell would enter rehabilitation and not perform again until 2007. Russell would use the year of 2006 to get sober and get a facelift that would be detailed on ExtraTV. Russell would later refer to this incarnation of Great White as "Fake White", saying "It still sounded like Great White, but notalmost like we were doing a cover of ourselves."

Back to the Rhythm 2006-:
Talk of a reunited Great White began in a 2004 interview where Jack Russell told Metal Express "I spoke with Michael [Lardie], we threw that around a bit, and thought that sounds like a cool idea, it'd be fun. I'm pretty positive it's gonna happen probably next year... We talked to some other people, and [former drummer] Audie [Desbrow] would not be a person I would want to play with ever again in my life. There were some bridges burned there that I just cant forgive, and Im a very forgiving person. I just cant let that one go. I have to stand up for myself...". Russell's stance towards Desbrow seemed to have changed course by 2006 when he told Mitch Lafon "I talked to Michael Lardie the other day and he is into doing it. I just want to get hold of Tony Montana and Audie Desbrow. I think that would be very special for our 25th anniversary tour to have the same guys...we haven't played together in a very long time." Later in 2006 guitarist Mark Kendall officially announced that Great White has re-formed with its original members. The reformed lineup of Russell, Kendall, Michael Lardie, Sean McNabb and Audie Desbow played their first date together in over 5 years on January 27, 2007 at the Keyclub in Hollywood, CA performing at the Harpseals.org Benefit Concert for the Seals 2007.

Members:
-Jack Russell - Vocals.
-Mark Kendall - Lead Guitar.
-Michael Lardie - Keyboards.
-Sean McNabb - Bass.
-Audie Desbrow - Drums.
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