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Great White

Great White

Great White were competent musicians, deeply influenced by AC/DC and Led Zeppelin, but sorely lacking creativity. Not to say Russell and Kendall, the group's primary songwriters, didn't give it a shot. The songs were derivative but passable.

Great White's claim to fame was covering Ian Hunter's "One Bitten, Twice Shy," in '89. It was a huge hit and the accompanying album "Twice Shy" sold well. It had taken the group nearly seven years to find some measure of success but they quickly slipped from view for the next few years. "Sail Way" came out in '94 and was followed, two years later, by "Let It Rock." Neither effort made much of an impression. "Tribute To Led Zeppelin," (yes, that's Great White covering Zeppelin), and "Can't Get There From Here" appeared in '99. But a year later they hit rock bottom with "Latest & Greatest." The set contained newly recorded versions of their "best" material. Please!

Locked in the oldies Rock circuit Great White made a decent, if unremarkable, living playing their big hit in small towns. They no doubt wish it had stayed that way. But like many has-been groups they felt compelled to add a spark to their shows. Their particular take was pyrotechnics. In large venues, fireworks have the space to shoot off harmlessly. Still, safety precautions and procedures have to be strictly adhered. In small clubs, pyrotechnics are pure folly as Great White discovered when they burned their name into infamy, at The Station in West Warwick, Rhode Island on February 20th, '03. The fireworks ignited the club, quickly burning it to the ground. A total of 100 people died (including Great White's guitarist Ty Longley). Later in the year, while lawsuits were still pending, the group embarked on a tour to raise money for the injured and families of the deceased.

Great White Discography

Get Great White's "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" on one of several '80s compilations and call it good. Ian Hunter's original version is on his self-titled album. If there is a desire for more, "Great White's Greatest Hits" (not "Latest and Greatest") should quench it.

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