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  • Writer's pictureFred

Great White Mess

Updated: Jul 15, 2020

Back when I was employed at Iron Mountain, I worked with a bunch of guys who thought that music peaked in the late 1980's with Hair Metal. Other than New Country, there may be no worse genre of music in America than Hair Metal. Thankfully Kurt Cobain MOSTLY stepped out the embers of that flame.

But in a few tinder boxes of this great land, bands held on. Instead of playing arenas, they were playing clubs in the 90's & 00's. Members of bands like Warrant and Poison were forced to make hard decisions, like either soldier on or become overnight managers at CostCo.

One of the worst bands of the era was Great White. They milked "hits" like Once Bitten and Rock You into a career. We have been very consistent with our disdain of Hair Metal on this website. With the exception of a few singles, it was a disposable art form.

On February 20, 2003 Great White was playing a club in Rhode Island and their pyrotechnics set the building on fire. Not a small fire, but a fire that engulfed the entire club and killed 100 people, (including the band's guitarist.) It was one of the worst club fires in American History.

The next day I went to work and gave my boss the business. I decided to try out my stand-up routine on him and berated him about Darwinism and the concept of Survival of the Fittest. His face turned red, and, with his Winger keychain sitting on the desk, he started to attack the "horrible" bands I listened to. My argument was (and still is), my bands rarely killed their fans with the veracity of his bands. Other co-workers came into the office to hear our argument and people threw things at me and booed. "What is wrong with you Fred Hunt?"

Now don't get me wrong. I shouldn't have said what I said, no one's perfect. But once that genie was out of the bottle, you couldn't shove him back in. I said my piece and we all moved on. As I slinked back to work, I grumbled "at least we'll never hear from Great White again."


Imagine my surprise when I saw this story at Brooklyn Vegan (2 Days Ago!):


  • Dickinson is the seventh largest city in the state of North Dakota. Its population is around 23,000.

  • In Great White's defense, Stark County North Dakota is NOT a Covid-19 hotspot.

  • As I tried to pull apart the Great White story, I found over 3 DOZEN members, or former members, of the band. No scratch that. BANDS.

  • Technically the band involved in the 2003 Rhode Island fire was Jack Russell's Great White. In the Brooklyn Vegan story, Jack Russell himself quickly distanced himself from the other Great White over the mask controversy.

  • Jack Russell was the lead singer of Great White when they broke up in 2001. Then my head started to spin. Very long story short, there are 2 Great Whites today. Jack Russell's Great White and Great White. Great White even released an album of new material without Jack Russell in 2017 called Full Circle.

  • According to the magical internet, all of my citations are wrong. Technically it's Grammy Award Nominated Great White.

  • When in the hell did Great White get nominated for a Grammy? 1990. Yet another of HUNDREDS of examples as to why the Grammys JUST DON'T GET IT.

I wish I could find my old Iron Mountain boss and berate him some more.

Just in general, not just about (either) Great White.

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