Mark Kendall

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The phrase back in the day calls to mind images of someone hitting their peak; someone’s career’s at its apex. For GREAT WHITE founder, Mark Kendall, the man behind the dark classes and bluesy guitar hooks for one of the most successful bands born on the Sunset Strip during the decadent early 80s, his stride might be on its second wind, but he’s riding the wave one riff at a time.
Born into a musically gifted family, Kendall grew up in Huntington Beach, California. His father played jazz trumpet; his mother sang her heart out to jazz tunes before adoring audiences. His grandfather, too, was a virtuoso on the piano. Citing Jimi Hendrix, Cream, and The Doors as early influences, Kendall’s passion and natural abilities got him hooked on guitar.
“The thing I love about the guitar is it’s an instrument that allows me to express myself in how I’m feeling at any given time,” Kendall said. “All the musicians that made me want to play guitar, played straight from their heart with a lot of feeling in their playing. They pour their very soul into every note. My feeling is no matter what instrument you play, do it with passion and feeling. When music is delivered in that way it creates emotions, which can even make a person cry at times. That to me is real music with a human feel that no machine could ever duplicate.”
Kendall’s band Dante Fox had two singers before settling with Jack Russell. The band’s 1982 performance at The Whisky (Hollywood) caught the eye of record executive Alan Niven. Niven suggested the band change it’s name to reflect upon the striking color of Kendall’s blonde hair – GREAT WHITE.
Since 1982, the GREAT WHITE sound has captivated audiences worldwide with crushing blues-based guitar riffs and swagger that invokes an emotional high for anyone that listens. The band’s core writing team of Kendall and Michael Lardie (keys, guitar) forged numerous hits over the years, and when Audie Desbrow joined in ’85, the grooves hooked an amazing stride.
Best known for their GRAMMY nominated Best Hard Rock Performance hit, the gold selling “Once Bitten, Twice Shy,” (over 900,000 copies of this single alone) GREAT WHITE has sold over 10 million albums worldwide, has six Top 100 Billboard hits, nine Top 200 Billboard albums, two multi platinum albums, five gold records and clocked the top of MTV video four times.
To experience their hits live in concert—“Rock Me,” “Mista Bone,” “Save Your Love,” “House of Broken Love,” and “Lady Red Light”—is to ride an emotional wave of perspiring connections, sultry lyrics, and an all-out marathon of hard-hitting orchestrations.
GREAT WHITE continues to tour worldwide and in 2014 logged over 60 dates in several states and countries. They returned to the classic rock radio charts with “Complicated” off of 2012’s Elation. The band’s 12th studio album, Elation, garnered high marks from numerous rock journalists behind the pesky “Something For You,” the cheeky “Shotgun Willie’s,” and the emotional, Top 10 classic rock radio entry, “Hard To Say Goodbye.”
For Kendall, while the music business has changed dramatically since he first picked up a guitar, he still believes in the human connections and imperfections.
“My thinking is still old school,” Kendall said. “In recording music for example, if it sounds good to my ears, it is good!! If I look at the tracks on the computer and see that technically something isn’t perfect, I don’t believe it has to be changed or fixed. It’s the imperfections that give music its personality. Other parts of my life have not changed either. I prefer talking to someone in person over texting them. I prefer buying the physical product instead of downloading it. I prefer going out and playing someone a game of pool to hovering in a room on an X-Box. I still like human beings playing music over machines playing music. I like to hear people singing without the aid of keyboard machines etc., so I can feel and hear their style and personality in their voice.”
When not in the recording studio or on stage with GREAT WHITE, Kendall has been invited to perform in the Vegas Rocks Magazine All-Star Jam alongside contemporaries George Lynch, Vince Neil, Zakk Wylde, and more. Kendall is a solid supporter of MusiCares, whereas his relentless efforts to help those seeking a sober life have been expressed in feature stories on Fox News and numerous national radio programs. Kendall is a baseball enthusiast (go Dodgers) and boasts professional level skill in both billiards and poker, all of which he showcased on the popular Joe Rogan Experience podcast.

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