Former GREAT WHITE singers Jack Russell and Terry Ilous came together for one night, on one stage, for an acoustic storytelling show on October 29 at Rockefellas bar in Corona, California. Russell and Ilous shared stories about their long rock and roll careers. Fans in attendance got a chance to hear about the inspiration behind some of GREAT WHITE‘s biggest hits and learn how the songs came to be. Check out video below.
All proceeds from this show benefited the Warrior Built Foundation which works to honor the service and sacrifice of combat veterans and wounded service members through vocational and recreational opportunities. The Foundation provides new motivation, camaraderie and sparks veterans’ imaginations while most importantly offering a release to cope with similar difficulties in a positive and therapeutic way. Warrior Built does this in a safe, fun, and supportive environment all while providing much-needed different forms of therapy.
Last month, Jack and Terryteamed up to record a semi-acoustic version of “I Won’t Back Down”, one of the most iconic classic rock songs by TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS. They also released a Tim Sheridan-directed music video for the track.
Back in July 2018, Russell slammed his former bandmates in GREAT WHITE for the “deceitful” way Ilous was kicked out of the group.
Ilous, formerly of ’80s L.A. hard rockers XYZ, joined GREAT WHITE in 2010 after replacing touring vocalist Jani Lane (WARRANT).
The Ilous-led GREAT WHITE released two albums, 2012’s “Elation” and 2017’s “Full Circle”, before Terry was shown the door and replaced with Mitch Malloy.
Ilous later released a statement in which he claimed he was blindsided by his dismissal from GREAT WHITE, saying that he “proudly invested” all of his energy and focus “into the GREAT WHITE brand.”
Russell, who was himself fired from GREAT WHITE in December 2011 (after being on hiatus from the group since 2009),took to his Facebook page to offer his thoughts on Terry‘s departure from the band, writing: “I just wanted to express my condolences to Terry Ilous for the deceitful way my X band members dealt with the situation of his termination kind of reminds me of something else. Huh? In the last few months Terry and I have gotten to know each other through Linkedin have become what I would say friends. As far as I’m concerned, he’s a great guy and he had an opportunity and he took it. The fact is it was my fault that it all happened to begin with. I was unreliable, unhealthy and my addiction ruled my world. I wouldn’t have wanted to play with me either if I were them. The only thing I was very upset about was the way they went about it. But at least Terry got an e-mail where I received nothing not even a phone call or a return message. But this is not about me this is about Terry. I’m sure he will find his way to a better place as he is a great singer and has a lot of talent and I have a lot of respect for him. I wish him well and I hope you will all support him in his future efforts.”
Russell sued his onetime bandmates in 2012 over their continued use of the GREAT WHITE name after the singer had taken a leave of absence from the band for medical reasons. A short time later, Russell was countersued by guitarist Mark Kendall, keyboardist/guitarist Michael Lardie and drummer Audie Desbrow, claiming the vocalist’s self-destructive behavior was damaging the GREAT WHITE name (they also alleged he was charging promoters less for his own touring version of GREAT WHITE). The parties settled in July 2013 without going to trial, with Russell now performing with a new lineup as JACK RUSSELL’S GREAT WHITE while the others are continuing as GREAT WHITE.
Back in June 2020, Russell teamed up with Ilous, along with guitarists Robby Lochner and Phil Woodward, for a special acoustic concert on the Monsters Of Rock Cruise Facebook page. The set included acoustic renditions of songs from GREAT WHITE, XYZ and LED ZEPPELIN.