Jack White is a man of many faces, a musical entrepreneur, producer, upholster, songwriter, frontman, father, and even actor. To celebrate his forthcoming tour we take a look the colourful life of Jack White.
Before Jack White was Jack White, he was John Gillis, the youngest of a Detroit family of ten children. He learnt the drums at age six and first picked up the guitar in his first band The Upholsterers. Before The White Stripes he started a business called Third Man Upholstery, its motto, "Your Furniture's Not Dead."
The White Stripes
Are they married? Are they brother and sister? Why do they wear red and white all the time? Jack married Meg White in 1997, took her last name and forced her to play drums in his stripped back garage blues duo. The band's visual aesthetic and brother-sister mythology were used to "distract people from thinking about what was actually going on, that we were white kids playing the blues." Though the band lasted almost fifteen years, Jack and Meg's marriage ended way back in 2000.
Fell In Love With A Girl
Michel Gondry's video for 'Fell In Love With a Girl' cast Jack and Meg as their lego-likeness. He also directed their videos for 'Hardest Button to Button', featuring 30 stop-motion drum kits and guitar amps; and 'The Denial Twist', featuring Jack, Meg, and Conan O'Brien strolling through a surrealist television studio.
Jack White helped produce The Von Bondies first album 'Lack of Communication'. In 2004, Jack White helped the band's frontman to a broken face, belting Jason Stollsteimer's face to a pulp in a Detroit Club. Stollsteimer also claims White stuck a note to his door, proclaiming "that's the last time I help you out", with a knife.
Jack contributed five songs to the American Civil War film 'Cold Mountain'. He also had a small role in the film, playing the character Georgia. He would go on to briefly date fellow cast member Renee Zelwegger.
In 2006 White teamed up with Brendan Benson and two third's of garage-soul rockers The Greenhornes to create The Raconteurs (or The Saboteurs, here in Australia). The band released two critically acclaimed albums and reunited for a show recently at New Orleans' Voodoo Festival.
Jack White turned producer in 2004, teaming up with country legend Loretta Lynn for her album 'Van Lear Rose'. The album would go on to win 2 Grammy's. He similarly worked on Wanda Jackson's record 'The Party Ain't Over' in 2011. He's also produced with Insane Clown Posse......ummm.
Jack White married Karen Elson in 2005 on the Amazon River. They met on the video shoot for The White Stripes song 'Blue Orchid'. The pair would go on two have two children, Scarlett and Henry Lee, before divorcing in June 2011. For a man who was inches away from a career as a Catholic Priest, you'd think Jack would take divorce more seriously.
The Dead Weather
Jack teamed up with The Kills' frontwoman Alison Mosshart, Jack Lawrence (The Raconteurs) and Dean Fertita (QOTSA) to form swampy blues monstrosity The Dead Weather in 2009. This was the first time since his brief stint in Goober and the Peas back in Detroit that White was playing drums in a band.
Founded in 2001, Third Man records found its home along with White in Nashville, Tennessee in 2009. Since then White has played host to a myriad of performers, and invented new ways to distribute music. The visual aesthetic of yellow and black, as well as the company's mantra "Your Turntable's Not Dead" are both borrowed from his earlier upholstery business.
With The White Stripes calling it quits in 2011, and both subsequent projects on the backburner, 2012 finally sees Jack White going solo with Blunderbuss. Produced by Jack at Third Man records, the first single was released by helium balloon. Maybe some of them will land in Australia. Jack White certainly will.
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