Starting under the name of Dante Fox in 1981, Great White with the line-up of Jack Russell (vocals), Mark Kendall (guitar), Lorne Black (bass), Gary Holland (drums) and Alan Niven (other percussion) would assume their proper name in 1982, presumably naming themselves after the shark. Their workman like basic blues laden Heavy Metal was professional but mostly lightweight in comparison to what has traditionally been offered. After hearing their self-financed Don Dokken debut Out Of The Night (1982) EMI' picked them up for their sophomore effort Stick It (1984) and the band added Audie Desbrow to replace Holland and added Michael Lardie (keyboards/guitar; later became producer). The album, unfortunately, failed to stick to anything and the label promptly dropped them. But Capitol's' subsidiary Enigma' came calling to record their next set Once Bitten (1987) that got them a charting spot in the U.S. at 23. The follow-up was naturally Twice Shy (1989) with Tont Montana replacing Black. The album saw them at their height by gaining a U.S. 9 spot with the Once Bitten Twice Shy single spin off making 5 on its own.
Hooked (1991), however, failed to do as well making 18 in the U.S. and only 43 in the U.K. Adding to the frustrations was Kendall's alcohol problems that would make for nasty talk in the band. Montana had enough shortly after the album's release and left leaving room for Dave Spitz (ex-White Lion) to replace him. Capitol' itself would publish Psycho (1992) and the compilation best of Best Of Great White (1993) before they had their fill of the band and gave them the push.
Teddy Cook took over the now vacant bass slot in time for indie Zoo' to try out the band on the next effort Sail Away (1994) with Desbrow and Lardie returning to replace Holland and Cook shortly after. It was pretty clear now to the world at large that Great White wasn't so Great anymore and the album, along with it's follow-ups Let It Rock (1996) and Can't Get There From Here (2000) failed to get wide notice or acclaim.
To their credit, Great White have been a very determined act and continued to truck on until 2003 when a faulty pyrotechnic display set fire to a Rhode Island club when they were on-stage, setting the place alight killing the bass player and several patrons. One might say Great White went out with a bang for it was one of the biggest nightclub fires in U.S. history. Although not found to be completely at fault, they also weren't blameless in the incident and paid a large fine, a story that influenced an episode on the American cop TV show Law And Order, the future of the act is now uncertain.