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Sunday Morning: 25 Facts You Didn’t Know About The Black Keys [Video]

The Black Keys
Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

With its latest album, ‘Turn Blue,’ out last week, it’s time to take an inside look at The Black Keys and share some facts you probably didn’t know about the bluesy Akron, Ohio, duo.

  • 1. Sleater-Kinney drummer Janet Weiss was one of the first supporters of the Black Keys.
  • 2. Soon after they got the thumbs up from Weiss, they were soon taken on as Sleater-Kinney’s opening band for their 2004 tour.
  • 3. Their second album ‘Thickfreakness’ was recorded in a 14-hour straight session in drummer Patrick Carney’s basement because the band spent their advance from their label on rent.
    • 4. In the band’s early days, the Black Keys were given only $5 a day for meals. Auerbach preferred Chinese takeout, drummer Patrick Carney revealed on the Travel Channel’s ‘No Reservations.’

    1. 5. Being Polish-Jewish, guitarist and singer Dan Auerbach’s great-uncle survived the Holocaust while his grandmother managed to escape before the Nazis closed the borders.
  • 6. Carney played lead guitar for Europe Gyro, a band he was part of in high school.
  • 7. In the band’s early days, the Black Keys were given only $5 a day for meals. Instead of burgers made of mystery meat, Auerbach preferred Chinese takeout. “Dan would go save his money to go eat wonton soup,” Carnney revealed on the Travel Channel’s ‘No Reservations.’
  • 8. Before Carney married Emily Ward in 2012, he was married to writer Denise Grollmus for two years. After they divorced in 2009, both were very vocal about the messy breakup. Grollmus even wrote a revealing essay about it for Salon.
  • 9. Jack White hates the Black Keys because he thinks they copy him.
  • 10. He hates them so much that he doesn’t want his kids going to the same Nashville school as Auerbach’s kids and even called out his ex-wife Karen Elson for enrolling them there.
  • 11. The video for the band’s 2004 single, ’10 A.M. Automatic,’ was directed by comedian David Cross.

  • 12. Danger Mouse convinced the Black Keys to write songs for Ike Turner’s comeback album in 2007.
  • 13. Although they sent the demos to Turner, the band felt like the songs were more for them than the R&B legend. In the end, the tracks were never used for Turner, who died before ever completing the album. Instead the band recorded those songs with production help from Danger Mouse, and ‘Attack & Release’ was born.
  • 14. Carney is known to be very chatty on his Twitter account, @patrickcarney.
  • 15. Because of his candidness on the social networking site, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber fans have all started Twitter wars with the drummer.
  • 16. Aside from the big music scene, Auerbach admitted that he moved to Nashville because of the food.
  • 17. Remember the guy dancing in the Keys’ ‘Lonely Boy’ video? That’s Derrick T. Tuggle — a middle-aged actor, musician and part-time security guard who was promised an extra part in the visual but ended up being its focal point.

  • 18. Carney’s uncle Ralph is a saxophone player who’s worked with Tom Waits.
  • 19. While Auerbach did his solo thing in 2009, Carney formed his own band called Drummer and released ‘Feel Good Together’ through his record company.
  • 20. Although the Black Keys already had a standard performance video for ‘Gold on the Ceiling,’ they teamed up with ‘Kids’ director Harmony Korine on another video that’s much trippier.

  • 21. ‘El Camino’ was completely recorded in Auerbach’s customized studio, Easy Eye Studio, in Nashville.
  • 22. ‘I’ll Be Your Man,’ off their 2002 debut LP ‘The Big Come Up,’ is featured as the intro song for the HBO series, ‘Hung.’

  • 23. In 2012, The Black Keys joined The Rolling Stones on stage during the band’s anniversary tour to cover Bo Diddley’s ‘Who Do You Love.’

  • 24. In 2013, Auerbach won a Grammy for producer of the year for his production work on Dr. John’s ‘Locked Down’ and Hacienda’s ‘Shakedown.’
  • 25. Even though they formed in Akron, both guys now live in Nashville. “Nashville feels to me a lot like Akron where we grew up,” Auerbach told the Guardian. “It’s a small town.”

    Next: Jackie Interviews The Black Keys' Patrick Carney

    Next: The Black Keys Announce Grand Rapids Tour Stop on Sept. 7

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