The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world





ROCK ME (Terry)
? COUNTRY SONG ? (Michael)


We have had this gig on our agenda as a last night in the US since we saw it announced months ago. The fact that we would have already seen Great White three times already this tour seemed irrelevant at the time and as the actual day unfolds it becomes even more intriguing!


We spend a leisurely morning walking the boardwalk down to the venue and when we get there a sign outside states that Jack Russel has been struck down and that Terry Illous (of XYZ fame) will be standing in for him. has been speaking with Terry to tee up an interview already and so the announcement that he will be taking Jack’s place makes tonight’s gig all the more interesting, though of course our immediate concerns are for Jack’s health. Days earlier in Las Vegas we had been chatting away with him and he had seemed fine.


We duck down to buy our tickets and see the band rehearsing. It sounds great. Terry has his lyric sheets out and we listen to a couple of songs which are worth the price of admission alone! It’s then a lazy day at the Crab Shack before the show tonight.


By the time we get to the venue it looks like even more of a treat as the word is that Michael Anthony (of Van Halen fame) will be sitting in with the support band ROJAS on a couple of songs. We buy beer to get over the unexpected shock…


ROJAS is OK but seems to have a bit of an identity crisis in that it is not exactly sure what it’s best ‘sound’ is. They range from straight rock to punk and everywhere in-between. The songs are pretty strong though, they have a great front-man and everyone technically is very sound musically. I enjoy the set but would love to hear more before forming a real opinion.



As far as the night goes ending up standing next to Michael Anthony in the bathroom where someone has stolen the handles from all of the faucets is surreal.  We talk for a while and I ask him if he is really playing and how he knows the band. It transpires that one of his daughters is dating the drummer, JD is drunk, and we have a photo in the hallway before he makes his way backstage. I’m still getting over what a genuinely great guy he is when he takes the stage with the band to play a couple of Van Halen classics: “Running with the Devil” and “Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love”.  He is an amazing singer- just check out the You-Tube!


Terry passes us between sets and we say ‘hi’ but little more as I can tell he has a huge job to do with next to no notice: something that makes tonight’s performance all the more remarkable when it happens!


“Desert Moon” which opens sounds amazing though understandably there is not a full set tonight and we get a mix of Great White standards including the (Angel’s cover) “Face the Day”, “Rock Me” and “All or Nothin’” from the latest album ‘Rising’. Mark chips in with “Little Red Rooster” from his solo LP as he does in the usual set anyway, and Michael Lardie sings before we get “Once Bitten” to close out the night. It’s on songs like “House of Broken Love” and :Save your Love” though that Terry shines through with his deep soulful vocal. Despite the short length of the Terry has had to prepare and missing a few lyrics here and there it’s a very enjoyable night even if there is an unusual country-tinged song at the end of it all. 


All in all it’s a great night and Terry does a very credible job. Word is he got even better for the next two shows.


with the master Michael Anthony


Mark Rockpit