Jack Russell, estranged singer of troubled hair-metal outfit Great White, has officially filed suit against his former bandmates. The singer was sidelined with what is being referred to as a "perforated bowel" in 2010. His band toured without him , utilizing a few schlock-rockers in need of a paycheck including Terry Ilous of XYZ. Apparently the group prefer their new singer so much that they've recorded an album using the Great White moniker.
"The release of the Elation album will irretrievably alter the discography of the band Great White, tarnishing and diluting the trademark, reputation, and goodwill that plaintiff has developed over 30 years," reads a section of the court document.
"In August of 2010, plaintiff was hospitalized and underwent emergency surgery for a life threatening condition," the document continues. "While he recuperated from this surgery, other singers filled in for him during Great White's live performances, however, it was undisputed that plaintiff's absence was temporary, and that he retained his position in the band's lineup and would resume singing with the band upon his recuperation."
The lawsuit seeks $500,000 in damages and alleges trademark infringement, injury to business reputation and unfair competition on the part of the defendants.
"By December of 2011, plaintiff had recuperated sufficiently to be able to once again perform as lead singer. However, defendants, who had apparently decided that they would prefer that band continue without plaintiff, stated that he would not be 'permitted' to return to his band until he agreed to a lengthy set of conditions [which were] clearly designed to keep him from returning to the band."
Though the band were semi-successful in the late 1980s, Great White are perhaps best known for causing a fire in a West Warwick, Rhode Island nightclub called The Station in 2003. Just seconds into their opening song, a pyrotechnics display ignited soundproofing material on the club's ceiling. The blaze destroyed the small club and killed 100 people, including Great White guitarist Ty Longley. The band's manager, Daniel Michel Biechele, pled guilty to 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter in the case, though many Rhode Island officials deemed Jack Russell responsible for the tragedy.
Representatives for Great White have yet to respond publicly to the lawsuit.