The White Stripes

The White Stripes


7/15/1997, Detroit, USA

Birth Name

The White Stripes



Also Known As

White Stripes
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Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Sadly The White Stripes have diminished Jack's political thoughts; he was very political as a teenager and then decided to stop thinking about it, "I have never thought that rock music can have a direct influence on anything in relation to questions about war and peace or famine. Perhaps it doesn't any longer make a difference what other things they are concerned with. If the Beatles could not get us all to love one another, then how would the White Stripes be capable to do it?" However, it is worth noting that some of The White Stripes song still contain political lyrics.

    • The band were originally going to be called The Peppermints, Meg's favourite sweet. But since the pair's last name was White, they decided to call it The White Stripes.

    • Jack claims his one sin is smoking. In everything else he considers himself a perfect gentleman.

    • The video for 'Fell in Love With a Girl' intentfully recognises the childishness of the band, by associating them with toys such as lego.

    • Surprisingly, Jack and Meg claim not to be close friends. Jack hinted that he wouldn't want to ruin the music he makes with her by meeting her too much socially.

    • The birth of White Stripes was unplanned - Meg returned home one night to hear Jack strumming away in the attic. Rather than giving him time, she just sat down behind him and started bashing some drums unknowingly.

    • 'Elephant' was recorded for less than $10,000, an amazingly small amount in the music business today and due in part to The White Stripe's rejection of modern technology.

    • Jack described 'Elephant' as being about "the death of the sweetheart" and long-lost ideas of romance and gentility. It's easy to spot this within the song titles which include 'I wanna be the boy to warm your mother's heart'. However, he also admitted he was afraid that he would come across as too conservative.

    • Jack chose music rather than friends as he grew-up; he was into rock & roll when everyone around him liked rap and house music. Jack didn't think he could ever be friends with such people!

    • Jack admits that his choice of three colours, three cords, is a self-imposed trap. However, this is what forces him to work hard within his own limitations.

    • The White Stripe's dependence on the number 'three' was actually inspired by Jack's experience in an upholstery shop. His boss had put three staples in a piece of fabric and Jack realised that three was the bare minimum amount. He then continued the use of 'three' even in his own upholstery shop, only with yellow, black and white as his primary colours. He sees 'three' as sticking to a set of formal rules.

    • Jack rejects set lists in favour of a more natural approach - he likes everything he does to be "in the moment" and enjoys imrpovising, even on stage.

    • Surprisingly, Jack started his music with the drums, playing from the age of 5 until 20. He only ever started the guitar so that he could have music to drum to. These days, he leaves all drumming to Meg.

    • Jack White's real name is John Gillis.

    • Jack married his wife Karen, just three weeks after meeting her for the first time on the set for the filming of 'Blue Orchid'. Meg encouraged the marriage from the start.

    • In 2003 Jack was charged with assault and battery. He pleaded guilty and had to pay hundreds in legal fees and fines.

    • Jack once claimed, rather wrongly, of course, that "A band like ours would never make it onto MTV"

    • In The White Stripe's colour scheme, red represents anger, white, innocence and black reveals death. These colours were picked by Jack, but he managed to go beneath the surface to explore every possiblity within the colours and themes.

    • 'Get Behind Me Satan' took less than two weeks to record, even with five days in which no music was played.

    • Jack both appeared in the film 'Cold Mountain' and recorded songs for it's soundtrack.

    • The title of The White Stripe's latest album, 'Get Behind Me Satan' was purposefully left ambiguous so it could be read as either appealing to Satan to leave, or to help.

    • The primitive nature of White Stripes music is an attempt to rebel against what Jack sees as the evils of the American society; overproduction, excess and over-thinking.

    • Jack explained the band in an interview, "My original idea for the White Stripes was to break everything down to the essentials. The band is made-up of real simple components: three musical elements - vocals, guitars and drums; and three graphic elements - the colours red, black and white. The whole framework became a great excuse for doing what I really wanted to do, which was to simply play the blues, or blues-based music."

    • White Stripes was inspired by Delta Blue, Dutch Minimalist Art and Meg's inferior drumming.

    • Jack and Meg have created a band image based on the lie that they are in fact siblings. However, the truth of the matter is that Jack and Meg married in 1996, before realising that they shared a closer sibling-like relationship and so divorced, later using this pretext to seek fame. Jack retained the surname White to help the sibling image.

    • Jack is the youngest of 10 children and faced a tough childhood, growing-up in a gritty area in Detroit.

    • in 2006, the White Stripes won a legal battle in which a studio engineer claimed he was entitled to copyright ownership from the band's first two albums. However, the jury only took twenty minutes to decide that the engineer was not worthy of excess profits.

    • Their song "Fell in Love with a Girl" has famously been remade by Joss Stone, called "Fell in Love with a Boy". This is only one among dozens of White Stripes songs, remade or performed by other artists and bands.

  • Quotes

    • Jack: When we started the band it was just some way of getting back to childhood without it being a comedy act. It was about how kids look at things. There's a sense of humour that is deeply buried under everything. I'd kind of like it if people saw us and just half-way through the set started laughing.

    • Meg: We have created our own little world, when you do that, nothing can get you.