The band is currently midway through legal battles between former frontman Jack Russell, who’s touring with his own version of the outfit, and the original strand led by guitarist Mark Kendall.
Black, real name Lorne Doyle, formed the band with Russell and Kendall in 1982. He appeared on their 1983 debut EP, their self-titled 1984 album, follow-up Shot In The Dark two years later, then 1987′s Once Bitten… He was replaced before they reached their commercial peak in 1989, and was later involved in his own legal dispute with the band, which he lost.
Revealing the news of Black’s passing, Russell said at the weekend: “Our hearts go out to his family, friends and fans. Lorne was a huge part of the first incarnation of Great White; may he rest in peace.”
Kendall added: “Lorne was a good dude – he had a great sense of humor and was a great bass player. He was a fan of bass players and he had a very musical style with his bass parts.
“I saw his cousin Robert a few months ago and we were in touch. Robert told me Lorne wasn’t too good then. I lost Robert’s number when I changed phones, which bums me out. He used to work for us.
“I loved Lorne and I am truly sad to get this news. I know he has battle demons for along time and I am so sad to hear of his passing.”
Ratt bassist Juan Crocier offered his own condolences, saying: “Lorne Black was a big part of the original Great White line-up. I’m very sad to hear of his passing. He will be greatly missed.”