Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Great White

Great White is a hair metal band, known primarily for their hit "Once Bitten, Twice Shy". Great White formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, California. Fronted by lead singer Jack Russell, the band didn't hit the mainstream until their fifth album, ...Twice Shy (1989; see 1989 in music), which included their sole hit. The band were great admirers of Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, and Mott the Hoople. "Once Bitten" was a cover version of a song written by Hoople's Ian Hunter.

Although they appeared in tight leather pants and and threw their hair around, they were considered more committed to blues-based rock and roll than to glamor.

They continued touring and recording throughout the 1990s, but never had another hit. In 2003, Great White was playing in Rhode Island when their fireworks sparked a blaze killing about 100 people (see The Station nightclub fire).

Guitarist Ty Longley died in the fire. A soundman for the band was injured.


The lyrics of "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" are about a girl who loves rock and roll and rock and roll musicians. They include the lines:

You didn't know that rock n' roll burned
So you bought a candle and you loved and you learned