Jack Russell says sorry for sharp practice call on ex-manager
Jack Russell has apologised to former Great White manager Alan Niven after he accused the businessman of sharp practise in a recent interview.
The singer said Niven – also known for setting Guns n’Roses and Motley Crue on the road to stardom – took a songwriter’s cut for material he helped write, but then subjected band members’s cuts to his management commission fee.
The move wouldn’t have been illegal – but it’s not even true, Russell has since discovered.
The singer tells BraveWords: “I recently did an interview and I made a comment about our first manager Alan Niven. In the interview I said something to the effect of: ‘When Alan and myself of Mark or Michael wrote songs together he would hake half of the publishing as an outside writer, then he would commission our percentage.’
“This information came to the band and myself after we parted ways with Alan, from a person we felt was reliable. I have since found that this is not correct.
“Not only did he take only his equal share, he did not even commission outs, as he was trying to be helpful to us.
“I extend my apologies to Alan, and my apologies to you for any confusion this may have caused. I have always made sure that any information I give to the public is honest information, therefore I wanted to straighten this out.”
Russell adds: “I hope he’s not too pissed off at me – but then again we’ve been butting heads for 30 years. Two roosters in the henhouse, I suppose.”
In the original interview the singer said: “Let’s say Alan, Mark and I write a song together. You figure it would be split where each person gets a third. What did he do? Alan would take half because he’s an outside writer and then he would commission 20% of ours. I didn’t find that out until we fired him. I couldn’t believe he did that. It’s perfectly legal but it’s a little unethical.”
Niven recently told Legendary Rock Interviews of his personal struggle to develop Great White’s career after their debut album failed to hit sales targets. He said: “Getting through 1985 was tough. Dokken and Ratt were out on the road, and buying new cars. Motley had gone mega. We wanted to be touring too. It was a dark period in which all of the band members came to me individually and privately and said, ‘If you say we’re done then I’m gone. I’ll stay as long as you stay.’ That’s stressful, but then there always must be someone keeping faith in the vision.”