The White Stripes won acclaim with their simple low-fidelity approach to songwriting and recording. Made up of duo Jack White and Meg White, the American rock duo was formed in Detroit in 1997. Two of their albums White Blood Cells and Elephant drew attention and were critically acclaimed from the media in the United States and the United Kingdom.
The band’s music is a melding of garage rock and blues influences which is made up of a raw simplicity of composition, arrangement, and performance. After six studio albums, two live albums, one extended play (EP) the duo disbanded in 2011 after a hiatus from 2007 to 2011.
Even though the band has broken up, they remain popular for their garage rock sounds, Jack White’s guitar riffs, and having lied about being siblings when they began. Here are 7 things you didn’t know about the rock band the White Stripes.
1. Meg White Didn’t Learn Drums
Meg White pursued a career as a chef after leaving high school. She met Jack Gillis at Memphis Smoke restaurant where she worked. They became friends and frequented coffee shops, local music venues, and record stores in the area. One day, she picked up Jack’s drumkit on a whim in 1997 and started playing. Inspired by her raw and untrained playing style, Jack decided they would start a band. He did the vocal and guitar while she played the drums.
2. Jack took Meg’s Last Name
The pair lied about being siblings because Jack thought it would be more interesting than being known as a couple. He took Meg’s last name after they married in 1996. The name became part of the band’s color-coded image. They appeared always in black, red, and white as Jack thought that it would make them appear older.
3. Jack’s first band was Goober & the Peas
Jack’s first band was known as Goober and the Peas. He got his first professional job as a drummer with the cowpunk band, known for blending odd humor to a darker side of country music and indie rock, and broke up in 1995.
4. White Blood Cells was Recorded in Less than 1 Week
The White Stripes received success with their third album White Blood Cells. Its stripped-down garage rock sound drew critical acclaim and was praised for their “back to basics’ approach. It was the first album to hit the charts and took only four days to record in a Memphis studio in 2001.
5. Jack White Won a Country Music Grammy
Jack White produced country music singer-songwriter Loretta Lynn’s 42nd solo studio album Van Lear Rose. The album was widely praised by critics peaking at no. 2 on the US Billboard Top Country Albums chart. The album won a grammy and Jack played guitar throughout the album and had a duet with Lynn on the song Portland, Oregon.
6. A Ballet Scored to their Songs
A ballet called Chroma was scored based on three White Stripes songs in 2007 by choreographer Wayne McGregor. The award-winning piece was performed by London's Royal Ballet.
7. There are 6 Different Covers for Elephant
The White Stripes’ 2003 album was issued with six different covers, all variations on Jack and Meg sitting on an amp. The covers depend on where you bought the album in the world and in what format.
Inspired by Meg White’s raw drumming style? You don’t need to be a professional to start playing in a band. Learn drums with us at Ritmo Music studio. We are located in Chinatown.