Farewell White Stripes
If you haven’t heard by now, Detroit duo The White Stripes, who led the garage rock revival to the masses, have officially called it quits. While this is a major bummer for rock, the news doesn’t surprise me.
The band made the split official with a message posted on their website.
“The White Stripes would like to announce that today, February 2nd, 2011, their band has officially ended and will make no further new recordings or perform live,” the statement reads. “The reason is not due to artistic differences or lack of wanting to continue, nor any health issues as both Meg and Jack are feeling fine and in good health. It is for a myriad of reasons, but mostly to preserve What is beautiful and special about the band and have it stay that way. Meg and Jack want to thank every one of their fans and admirers for the incredible support they have given throughout the 13 plus years of the White Stripes’ intense and incredible career.”
The White Stripes have been on hiatus for over three years since the release of their 2007 album Icky Thump. They canceled a U.K tour due to Meg White suffering from acute anxiety. They reunited in 2009 to perform on the last episode of “Late Night with Conan O’Brien”. Jack White kept himself busy with side projects The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather, and production work for country legend Wanda Jackson, Conan O’Brien, and more. Meg White has done the opposite and kept a low profile. There were some talks last year about a new White Stripes album in the works, but obviously that didn’t come to fruition.
The White Stripes formed in 1997 and I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t know who they were until the rest of the world did when they blew up in 2001, even though I’m from Detroit. I always read about them in Metro Times but I never sought out their music. Then one day I was at a buddy’s house and the music video for “Fell In Love With A Girl” came on MTV2. It was such an awesome video. Watch the clip below if you have never seen it before. A few of my friends and I were hooked and we had to go see them live at the Royal Oak Music Theatre in April of 2002. That was the first and only time I saw them in concert. A big reason why is that I paid $17 to see them that night, but then they wanted to charge over $50 a ticket as they became more successful. The hell with that. That didn’t stop me from liking them though. I even went to Meijer at midnight with a few friends to buy the band’s fourth album Elephant. I also saw Meg White at a Dirt Bombs show in Detroit and boy did she look TRASHED. I should have hit on her.
While there won’t be any new White Stripes material being released, some live and unreleased stuff will be made available through Jack White’s label Third Man Records. After six albums, five Grammy Awards, critical and mainstream success, I think the White Stripes did good for themselves. While I didn’t like the way Jack White sort of dissed Detroit and took off for Nashville, the band is still a musical symbol of a city that was once known as the “Music Capital of the World”. I’ll end this reflection with a statement from The White Stripes.
“The White Stripes do not belong to Meg and Jack anymore. The White Stripes belong to you now and you can do with it whatever you want. The beauty of art and music is that it can last forever if people want it to. Thank you for sharing this experience. Your involvement will never be lost on us and we are truly grateful.”