Born John Anthony Gillis in 1975, Jack White is the youngest of ten children who were raised in Southwest Detroit. He’s considered one of the most ingenious artists of his generation.
Jack White began playing the drums at an early age drawing inspiration from blues veterans Son House and Blind Willie McTell, but it wasn’t until his teen years that he started playing the guitar.
After opening his own upholstery business—Third Man Upholstery—in Detroit, White began to make his mark on Detroit’s music scene. He started as the drummer for Goober & the Peas, a local punk band that disbanded in 1995. After Goober & Peas, White played the drums for different bands in Detroit. While playing gigs across Detroit, Jack White met a bartender named Meg White who he married in 1996. He took Meg’s surname and they started the band the White Stripes.
The White Stripes’ single “Fell in Love With a Girl”—off their 2001 album, White Blood Cells—propelled the duo into the mainstream market. The single’s lego inspired music video was directed by Michel Gondry and called the the #1 video of the year by Pitchfork. Jack and Meg White made more headlines when they claimed to be brother and sister—the two divorced in 2000 but continued to make music together.
After the 2003 release of Elephant, Jack White took a break from the White Stripes to produce Loretta Lynn’s Van Lear Rose. The album was a success and White returned to the White Stripes to work on the album Get Behind Me Satan.
Following the release of Get Behind Me Satan, Jack White formed the band the Raconteurs with Brendan Benson and two members of the Greenhornes, Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler—who were actually the backing musicians for Van Lear Rose. The Raconteurs made their debut with the 2006 album, Broken Boy Soldiers. During this time, Jack White stressed that he was still committed to the White Stripes and would juggle both bands. Keeping true to his word, in 2007 the White Stripes released the album Icky Thump followed by the Raconteurs 2008 release, Consolers of the Lonely.
While on tour promoting Consolers of the Lonely, Jack White contracted bronchitis, which often made him lose his voice. Singer Alison Mosshart, who was touring with the Raconteurs with the band the Kills, would sometimes climb onstage and help White out by adding her own vocals to the mix. The two hit it off musically and formed the band the Dead Weather with White on drums.
In 2009, the Dead Weather released their debut album, Horehound—the album was a success both in North America and in the U.K. That same year, White started his own record label, Third Man Records, where he produced over 120 records in less than three years. White also has a studio in Nashville called Third Man Studios—the name comes from an Orson Welles’ film sharing the same name. A year later, the Dead Weather released their second album, Sea of Cowards.
Between making albums, Jack White appeared in the guitar-themed movie It Might Get Loud and produced an album for his then wife, singer/songwriter Karen Elson. The couple announced the end of their marriage in a joint statement saying that they remain on good terms and are holding a “divorce party” to celebrate the occasion—they have two children together, Scarlett and Henry Lee.
Jack White’s first solo album, Blunderbuss, would finally arrive on April 24, 2012.
News about Jack White
Usually, we're not ones for Record Day stunts. But what Jack White did over the weekend was truly remarkable: He recorded, pressed, and released a song in record time, earning himself a Guinness World Record in the process. In case you missed it, here how it went down: After setting up outside the singer's Nashville recording studio, Third Man, White ripped through a live rendition of "Lazaretto," from his upcoming album, and a cover of Elvis Presley's "Power of My Love." Those songs were recorded and cut into masters and shipped immediately to United Records Pressings, where they were pressed and outfitted with sleeves. The artwork, naturally, featured photos from the event. White, for his part, continued to play outside Third Man for an hour, before leaving to supervise production at the pressing plant. Then, three hours, 51 minutes, and 21 seconds after the process began, a 7-inch returned. Here's a video documenting the process. Pretty cool, no? A few days on, though, White's slice of history isn't coming cheap: On eBay, the vinyl's going for a cool $600. And if you're not sold yet, here's "Lazaretto" in full.
14 mega-sized pieces of music triviaDyed-in-the-wool music fans pride themselves on knowing the intricacies of their favourite acts. Like, for example, who knew that the Smiths' Johnny Marr once played with a nine-pickup guitar? Or that Drake earned a quarter million for playing the bar mitzvah for the son of TV tycoon Jeff Zucker? Or that R. Kelly allegedly married Aaliyah when she was 15? (Ew.) We don't collect these facts with the sole purpose of acing trivia night. No, we're obsessed with music trivia for obsession's sake—and here, inspired by Samsung's larger-than-life phone, the Galaxy Mega, are 14 plus-sized pieces of music trivia. There were more than a dozen so-called fifth Beatles. We've all heard Eric Clapton referred to as the Fifth Beatle, particularly because he played guitar on on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." But how many fifth Beatles were there in total? We count 14, including Stuart Sutcliffe, Pete Best (above), and a host of others. Two bands have actually declared themselves to be "bigger than the Beatles." There were only two bands that've stated that they're bigger than the Beatles with any authority: Oasis and One Direction. And while fans of the Fab Four might dispute the fact, there's no denying their accolades—when Oasis made the claim, it was on the heels of their 1995 album, What's the Story Morning Glory, which sold a staggering 22 million copies. Meanwhile, 1D's Harry Styles made his comment to a torrent of baclash, even if the comment was meant to be aspirational: We could be bigger than the Beatles, he said. We don't think it's likely, but hey, let a guy dream. The world's biggest drum kit weighs as much as a Great White shark. And it's not owned by the dude from Rush. It's an 813-piece, 5,000 pound drumkit owned by Mark Temperato. Though we'd definitely love to see Neil Peart work his magic on it. The world's longest drum solo was conducted by—who else?—Andrew W.K. Andrew W.K., who, while being cheered on by the likes of ?uestlove and Cuba Gooding Jr., played the drums for 24 straight hours. In Times Square, no less. The world's most elaborate guitar has 27 strings. Yes, metalheads love the six-string bass. Sure, folkies love the richness of a 12-string bass. But Keith Medley has 'em all beat with his 27-string guitar. Check the above vid to hear it in action. The longest guitar solo went on for over 24 hours. Congratulations, David DiDonato. Our fingers hurt just thinking about it. The world's fastest shredder played the guitar at 600 bpm. We'll just leave this video right here. Yes, that's some dude named John Taylor shredding at speeds of 600 bpm—for a frame of reference, a typical mid-tempo pop song clocks in around 120 bpm. The world's longest freestyle rap lasted for 16. Straight. Hours. That distinction belongs to Austin Antoine, who rapped for more than 16 hours straight. Check his preparation above. Ottawa, stand up: the world's loudest concert happened in the nation's capital. Indeed, in 2009, Kiss played in Ottawa—and reportedly hit levels as loud as 136 db. Put that in context: That's about as loud as witnessing a military jet takeoff with 50 feet of buffer. The average pain threshold? 110 db. Ouch. Before Kiss, plenty of other bands were considered the world's loudest—and most were metal. My Bloody Valentine hand out earplugs at their show—they can reportedly get up to 132 db. But elsewhere, Motorhead, Manowar, Deep Purple, and Wade MacNeil-featuring Gallows have held the record for loudest performance. Let's talk cash. The top-selling digital single of all time was... Classic rock nerds, prepare to be disappointed. It's not the Beatles. It isn't Led Zeppelin. Heck, it's nothing Jack White affiliated. The answer? Black Eyed Peas' “I Gotta Feeling.” 15 million. Jack White owned the top-selling vinyl record of 2012. Here's one for to satiate traditional heads: Jack White's Blunderbuss moved the most records last year, with Abbey Road and Mumford and Sons' Babel rounding out the top 3. The Brits, meanwhile, took a less traditional approach, with The XX's Coexist topping vinyl charts in the U.K. Madonna's "Express Yourself" is believed to be the most expensive music video ever made. While some believed that Michael and Janet Jackson's gravity-defying video for "Scream" was the most expensive ever made, Madonna's 1989 vid for "Express Yourself"—once we've adjusted for inflation—holds the title. In 2012 dollars, it would've costed more than $9 million. Jay-Z's art collection is reportedly worth $1.5 million. Yes, Jay-Z's "Picasso Baby" has countless art references (many of which we've compiled right here). But, according to Complex, his actual collection is worth $1.5 million. It isn't $493 million—which is the collective price of all the art referenced on Magna Carta Holy Grail—but it certainly ain't chump change.
Jack White to trade vinyl for Thanksgiving turkeysAmerican Thanksgiving is coming, and with it the chance to help those who need it. Ever the philanthropist, Jack White is teaming up with the Nashville Rescue Mission's annual turkey drive, offering up vinyl for turkeys from now until November 26th. According to Consequence of Sound, White's offering up free seven-inches to each person that donates a turkey or something else (winter clothes, canned food) of equal value. The deal excludes most if not all Third Man Records rarities, with one exception: whoever gives the most gets a copy of the Dead Weather's ultra rare, incredibly cool triple decker record. Details for The Great Third Man Turkey Drive can be found here. American Thanksgiving takes place on Thursday, November 28th.
Jack White donates $200,000 to the National Recording Preservation FoundationEver the philanthropist, Billboard is reporting today that Jack White has donated $200,000 to the National Recording Preservation Foundation, U.S. Congress established initiative that is pretty much exactly what it sounds like.
John C. Reilly is releasing a record on Jack White's Third Man labelJohn C. Reilly has already released a pair of singles via Jack White’s Third Man label, and according to an interview with Billboard, he has plans to make a full-length record with White in the near future.