Indie Legends: Jack White

Indie | Thursday 10th December 2015 | Craig

For most, it’s almost impossible to think of Jack White without subsequently thinking about The White Stripes. And though this is probably enough to qualify him as a legend already, The White Stripes being probably the greatest rock duo of our times and White's own creation, it’s far from the full picture.

White began his journey to rock stardom without the modern comforts of the internet, social media or a mobile phone. Not even X factor was a thing then. So off Jack went, learning his trade out in the real world, playing the Detroit circuit in his second band (his first band, The Upholsterers, only recorded, they never toured) with Goober and The Peas.  It wouldn’t be until 1996, after marrying Meg White (he took her name) that the tour de force that is The White Stripes would be formed.

This is where Jack White’s unusual approach began to unfold before the public eye. If smashing live shows with your wife every Friday night isn’t enough, why not pretend to the world that she's actually your sister? It’s exactly what the band decided to do. To this day nobody’s quite sure what was going on with the two during the times of The White Stripes.

Part of why it’s not hyperbolic to call White a legend is to do with how he continues to infiltrate modern culture, often unexpectedly. For example, who would have guessed that the early 2000s classic, Seven Nation Army, would be adopted by English football fans fifteen years later; you can’t watch an arsenal game these days without hearing the shouts of ‘Oh Santi Cazorla’ in the style of the songs leading riff – it’s the same with Dutch darts prodigy Michael Van Gerwin.

As The White Stripes began to veer away from the public eye in the mid naughties, White formed the band, The Raconteurs, recording the classic indie anthem, Steady As She Goes, among others.  While Meg White, after the band's official end in 2011, disappeared into the abyss of normality, White continued his foray into pretty much everything. Most notably, he remains a drummer in rock outfit The Dead Weather, and now enjoys life as a solo artist and label owner (Third Man Records). He also produces all the labels albums.

Today, Jack White is forty years old. He’s done more than most will accomplish in five lifetimes and you can bet that there’s a lot more to come.