Artist of the Week: Jack White

With a new album announced and a huge show happening at the ACC this summer, it's time to learn more about Jack White.

Jck white youngThe Beginning
John Anthony Gillis aka Jack White was born on July 9, 1975 and grew up the youngest of 10 children in a Catholic family. Growing up attending church regularly, White ended up becoming an alter boy which lead to his first taste of stardom… kind of. He received an uncredited role in the 1987 film The Rosary Murders, shot at his church in southwest Detroit. He began playing drums at the age of 6, was already listening to blues records and recording on a 4 track tape machine in his attic.

Fast forward to 1997 where The White Stripes were just starting to create music. They played frequent gigs in the Detroit punk scene and were eventually signed to release their debut self-titled record in 1998. A year later the group released their sophomore record and cult classic De stjil. Of course after that, in 2001 the duo released White Blood Cells, the record that would validate the hype surrounding them. That’s when everything started snowballing for the two; gaining new fans and selling more and more albums with each release. 2003’s Elephant held their most commercially successful single “Seven Nation Army” and 2005’s Get Behind Me Satan did well at the Grammys.

In 2005, White’s side projects started to become a passion. The Raconteurs burst onto the scene with their debut record Broken Boy Soldiers that included the hit single “Steady As She Goes”. The Racontuers dropped another album in 2008 entitled Consolers of the Lonely, then it was off to his new idea – The Dead Weather. Formed in 2009, The Kills singer Alison Mosshart fronted the band along side Jack on drums and vocals. They released two albums before White decided it was time to go solo in 2012. His debut solo album Blunderbuss was released in 2012 and was well received. He toured solo extensively, playing career spanning sets with two separate bands. One band was all male and the other, completely female, and they would trade off night by night. It was recently announced that not only will we be getting a new Jack White album, Lazaretto, this year (2014), but he will be coming to the ‘ACC’ on July 31st too.

Bet You Didn’t Know

  • Jack White has an obsession with the number 3. The White Stripes’ colour scheme is three colours (red, black, white) and Jack White’s solo colour scheme is also three colours (blue, black, white). He has a record shop and label both under the ‘Third Man’ moniker and he legally changed his name to “Three Quid” for the duration of a tour… need we say more?
  • The White Stripes played the shortest concert in history – the legendary one note show in St. John’s Newfoundland. Watch the “show” here.
  • The White Stripes had another record planned to be released in the summer of 2009 but it never came to fruition.
  • The White Stripes were the last band ever to play Late Night with Conan O’Brien.
  • Jack White anonymously donated $142,000 to keep the Detroit Masonic Temple alive. After some sleuthing around the owners found out it was White that flipped the bill and the temple was renamed the Jack White Theatre.

In 2004 The White Stripes won both Best International Group at the Brit Awards and Best Alternative Music Album at the Grammys; “Seven Nation Army” also picked up Best Rock Song. Also in 2004, White picked up a British Film Academy award for his contributions to the movie Cold Mountain. Get Behind Me Satan got The White Stripes another Best Alternative Music Album Grammy in 2006. Two years later The White Stripes would again pick up the Best Alternative Music Album Grammy for Icky Thump.

The White Stripes – The White Stripes (1999)
The White Stripes – De Stijl (2000)
The White Stripes – White Blood Cells (2001)
The White Stripes – Elephant (2003)
The White Stripes – Get Behind Me Satan (2005)
The Raconteurs – Broken Boy Soldiers (2006)
The White Stripes – Icky Thump (2008)
The Raconteurs – Consolers of the Lonely (2008)
The Dead Weather – Horehound (2009)
The Dead Weather – Sea of Cowards (2010)
Jack White – Blunderbuss (2012)
Jack White – Lazaretto (2014)