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
Dyed-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.
'Your' not ugly, society is: Searching for meaning in incorrectly attributed musician quotesI have a hard time following through on things — there are half-written short stories and a bullshit batch of standup jokes hidden in crevices of my computer, and even before I started this column I've amassed a ton of joke Tumblrs and Twitter accounts that I got bored of within a day. Strangely, there's one year-long project that I've become obsessed with. It might sound stupid to you, and that's because it is absolutely, 100 percent, unspeakably stupid. Regardless, every day since January 1, 2013, I've changed my Facebook cover photo to include an inspirational message along with a serene image. There are tons of sites dedicated to these sage jpegs, and my favourite is called Cover99.com. It's the best because it allows users to upload cover photos with no editor or moderator to filter out the garbage. That's how I've found typo classics like “Shit Happiness” and “YOLV" (below). They're completely nonsensical, but close enough to reality that they still pass for something meaningful. Cover99.comIf you really think about it, Cover99.com is just a microcosm of social media. Everyone wants to communicate something profound in an effort to brighten your day, but they can't come up with it themselves so they communicate it with someone else's compressed pixels. That's why your yoga instructor posted that Marilyn Monroe quote about how you're not ugly, society is. That's why your uncle emailed you that crudely arranged collage comparing the Beatles to Nickelback and bemoaning the way things used to be. That's why, when Osama bin Laden was killed, a fake Martin Luther King Jr. quote went viral. People express themselves through other people's quickly assembled text-covered images, and they particularly love intelligent sounding quotes. Think of Chicken Soup for the Soul pushed through Instagram filters and eventually regurgitated as a Tumblr meme. They're about as profound as the half-baked proverbs Rev Run tweets from his bathtub each night. I'm not sure why I'm so attracted to heartfelt inspirational quotes slapped onto shitty Photoshop jobs, but I'm reaching the halfway point of the year and haven't stopped with my daily devotions at Cover99.com. Then I started to wonder what kind of reaction I could get if I took some of the world's favourite musicians and made some quotes of my own. If there's one thing I've learned from previous experiments, it's that I need to be careful. Hell, One Direction fans are some of the smartest and most resourceful little jerks on the Internet, and they saw through my Let Larry Live scheme very quickly. None of the Gotye fan sites even bothered to address the Gotye! Prank Show, and Mumford fans were presumably chewing on pieces of straw and discussing On the Road so they didn't bother to address my trolling. My point is that it's a fine line to tread between being too obvious and not even making a mark. With that in mind, I started off my troll job gently. It was as simple as opening two tabs: one with Google Image Search and another with Brainyquotes.com. Drop a press photo of an artist into Photoshop, use some of the filters no one should ever use (‘sup Crosshatch) and overlay a rando quote. Easy! I registered the account inspirationalmusicians on Instagram (which meant I also had to get email@example.com) and fuckyeahinspirationalmusicians.tumblr.com. Then, once I had my initial 10 pitcures set up, I started dropping them in each of the platforms. Here's the classic photo of Lil Wayne blowing smoke, edited with some heavy-handed Photoshop bullshit. The quote has a nice #YOLO ring to it, but it's actually from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. It got a ton of likes on Instagram almost instantly, and only one note on Tumblr. This shot of Taylor Swift was blurred out just enough to add some major weight to what she's saying. Which is actually an Ian MacKaye quote. Pretty small response on both platforms, but funny to me so who cares. There are tons of Adele jpegs floating around about how she'd rather spend her life eating donuts and drinking than be a size zero or whatever, so I knew she had to be involved in that regard. I butchered the Marilyn Monroe quote and it got a healthy response on both platforms. I'm disappointed in myself for this one because it actually looks kinda good. The writing isn't garish enough, and I shouldn't have spelled “you're” properly. I have no clue what I did to this photo of Pink, but it looks absolutely disgusting. She looks like a really bad mural. And those colours, my goodness. Disgusting. No one cared about this one on Tumblr, but it was my most successful Instagram picture by far. Which is incredible to me, because the words are clearly taken from an enormous hit from Pink's contemporary, Kelly Clarkson. More absolutely terrible effects on this Beyonce shot. At this point I was just clicked on filters at random until it looked meaningful. Quote look familiar? It's taken from The Lion King, a fact that one Tumblr user pointed out with a gif. That didn't stop many others from reblogging it, however, and it did well on Instagram too. I wanted to appeal to the “real rock 'n' roll” types out there as well, so I got good ol' real rock 'n' roller Jack White involved with the action. His quote, which is so wonderfully about hipsters, is actually attributed to Nickelback's Chad Kroeger on Brainyquotes.com. Of the many people who reblogged it, one user added “This is why I love him, everyone have your own style.” Do you think Jack White has ever actually called another human being a hipster before? This absolutely wretched Justin Bieber image has misspelled lyrics from One Direction's biggest American hit, and not a single person called me out for it on Tumblr. In fact, as soon as I posted it two people reblogged it, and it got a great response on Instagram. I knew it was time to revisit the wonderful One Direction fandom, so I cobbled together some pictures of Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, and Louis Tomlinson. I wasn't sure how good they'd be with calling out fake quotes so I wanted to play it safe. With that in mind, I grabbed three quotes from the Fred Durst section on Brainyquotes.com and put them over the images. Overwhelmingly positive response, especially for the Harry image. I concluded my first batch with this image of Joe Jonas looking all hunky as he squints in the sun. The generally offensive quote, which reeks of old-world gender bias, is actually taken from Mel Gibson's eye-rolling Brainyquotes section. Not a huge response on Tumblr, but a decent batch of Instagram likes and a girl who commented “I like :P” Stepping back for a moment, I realized that I could basically get as ridiculous as I wanted with these and no one would call me out for the inaccurate quotes. After all, I literally posted a picture of Justin Bieber with One Direction lyrics and people responded in a positive way. I tried to get more obvious and broad with my quotes. This picture of Harry Styles has so much going wrong with it. The horribly transcribed quote originally came from Kurt Cobain, and has a lower case “i'm” at the end that already makes me cringe. It's a pretty straightforward quote that he could have believably said, however, so I wanted to make it a bit worse. With that in mind, I credited it to “Hary Stylles,” spelling both of his names wrong. While I did get a “WHO THE FUCK WROTE HIS NAME” comment on Tumblr, it's still the most popular image I posted, with approximately 50 notes within mere hours of it hitting the web. Half a hundred people thought this was worth sharing even though Harry's name is spelled wrong. I thought it'd be funny to use the iconic Jerry Maguire line “You had me at hello,” so I posted it over a picture of Demi Lovato that I had made look all murky and weird in Photoshop. No one really cared on Instagram or Tumblr. I later tried it again with an equally terrible image of Zayn Malik, and still basically nothing. But I still stand by it. I also thought I might get under some people's skin if I attributed something biblical to a celebrity, so I posted an actual bible verse atop a picture of Avril Lavigne where she's also wearing a necklace that says “DrinkMe.” I even spelled her last name wrong. Again, basically no one cared. At the end of the day, the only thing people care about in this world is Harry Styles, so I started making tons more with him. The next one was a pic where he was looking off into the distance, and I simply overlayed the phrase “Never say never.” I also spelled his name “Hary Styles.” It didn't get the reaction I wanted, but it was also incredibly stupid and the fact that a small handful of people still liked it still blows my mind to this day. I was deep into a Harry zone, so I kept going with his adorable stare. Next up, I fixed my previous error and bastardized the supposed Marilyn Monroe quote some more, writing “your not ugly society is.” So now we had a misspelled version of a famous (and probably fake) Marilyn Monroe quote that had already been attributed to Adele elsewhere on the same Instagram and Tumblr feeds. Aside from one “I'm sorry but YOU'RE*” (that classic One Direction fandom politeness), not a single negative interaction. One user also wrote “somewhere a girl called society is weeping bc harry styles called her ugly.” You can basically put anything on an image of Harry Styles and people will be into it. Don't believe me? I put the lyrics from Eminem's “Lose Yourself” on a pic of him lookin' all adorable, and everyone ate that shit up. Sure, one guy said “Umm Eminem said this!!! Lose yourself!” But that didn't stop users with names like larry-fuck-eachother and zaynhasswag16 from spreading it all over their Tumblrs. The question was “If you had one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment, would you capture it?” And a nice young girl on Instagram wrote “Yes I would.” I just looked at her page and she regrammed a couple of my inspirational Harry Styles shots, and didn't even give me credit! Fucking jerk. I tried a few other Harry ones, but neither of them worked. There's the Bob Marley quote, “One thing about music when it hits you feel no pain!” and an attempt to credit him with saying “started from the bottom” first in 2012. No one noticed it on Tumblr. Sure, they both got a lot of love on Instagram. But if you use the right tags you can get likes of anything on Instagram. To prove that, I took a picture of my blank wall and tagged it with a bunch of hot hashtags that I found on some weird site that helps you get more likes. #harrystyles #society #onedirection #1d #inspo #inspirational #beautiful #quote #yolo #love #instagood #swag #thick #inspirational #photooftheday #igers #like #vsocam #teamfollowback #funny #hot #instafreak #cool #nice #instamood #beautiful #gramfeed #amazing #party #igquotes #follow4follow Now my phone won't stop lighting up with notifications of people liking my photo. My photo of a blank, bare wall. It was a sobering place to be. It wasn't just that people weren't getting mad — they were pretending I didn't exist. I put all my effort into one last picture, straight up plagiarizing Justin Bieber's “As Long As You Love Me” on an image of Harry Styles. In my place of desperation, I added an “aslongasyouloveme” hashtag, hoping that some eager Belieber would find it and get mad. And they did! A wonderful Belieber found the image, then her and her friends started looking through my old work and finding the ridiculous inconsistencies. Speaking in Spanish, they had a good laugh at my pictures. I don't really know what they said, but there was a lot of “AHAHAJAHAJAJAJA” going on along with phrases like “ESTÚPIDOS” and “doble WTF!!!!” and “denuncie por fraude” and “igborante” (which I assume meant “ignorante” which means, you guessed it, ignorant). In my books, at the end of the day, some Spanish tweens making fun of me means a job well done. Plus, I've now got two social media outlets to utilize if I ever feel like attributing more quotes to the wrong people. Maybe society's not so ugly after all. This article originally appeared in the June 2013 issue of AUX Magazine. Download and subscribe for free in Google Play and the App Store here.