Way OT: Is Jack White the coolest?

Submitted by ppToilet on April 7th, 2012 at 11:25 PM

This thread is not about sports, recruiting, Trey Burke, Kate Upton or Brooke Burke (no, honey, I didn't look at either of those threads).

This thread is just a diversion about Jack White. A few months ago, jmblue posted a link to a nice story about how Seven Nation Army came to be played in so many stadiums.

I came across this article tonight from the New York Times which is a very good read and really gives the reader a sense of the man. I thought I was a decent enough fan of the White Stripes but learned a lot more about Jack and Meg White in the process. Here's one tidbit about the breakup of the White Stripes:

"...Having a conversation with Meg, you don’t really get any answers. I’m lucky that girl ever got onstage, so I’ll take what I can get.”

There was always something slightly condescending in the way White talked about Meg, praising her drumming the way you might encourage a promising 5-year-old. He may have had a point — The Onion once ran a headline that read, “Meg White Drum Solo Maintains Steady Beat for 23 Minutes” — but it also seemed somewhat passive-aggressive, especially after she’d been drumming for a decade.

But White insisted he was never controlling — if anything, it was the other way around. “It was more like groveling,” he said. “Even when we were touring 200 days a year, I would have said: Can we do this? Can we do that?” He added: “Meg completely controlled the White Stripes. She’s the most stubborn person I’ve ever met, and you don’t even get to know the reasons.”

If you've got some time to kill and are interested in music or people, I think you will enjoy the article. Oh and if you don't like Jack White, or think he is/isn't the coolest or best guitar player of his generation feel free to sound off.

Maybe later this year Magnus will reprise his "What should I be listening to?" thread, which was a pretty cool interlude during one of those quiet times on the board.


Maximinus Thrax

April 8th, 2012 at 10:10 AM ^

I don't think you could really call it a money grab.  I mean, I am sure he made something off of it, but it was hardly like he guested on a Lady Gaga song or something.  It was most likely a one-off project that intrigued him.  I found it interesting.  However, when a song fails to break into national radio (or any radio, save Sirius/XM given its subject matter) and is mostly an internet sensation, it would be disingenous to call it a money grab.


April 8th, 2012 at 1:29 AM ^

Dude is not a great guitar player at all. I love their music, but very weak on the guitar. A high school kid can play their shit in 5 minutes with tableture.


April 8th, 2012 at 2:32 AM ^

He is def. not one of the best guitar players.  His playing skill is comical, and I always become completely confused how he seems to make it on some lists.


April 8th, 2012 at 7:24 AM ^

If Dave Grohl didn't have the fortune of drumming for Kurt Cobain nobody would have ever heard of him.  If you like middling rawk songs with a vocal style that always ends up in him screaming the chorus over and over at the end then he's your man.   He is a far better drummer than guitar player and even then he's just "good". 

Foo Fighters > Nickelback but not by a lot



April 8th, 2012 at 7:56 AM ^

Foo Fighters aren't the greatest rock band around, but they're miles and miles ahead of Nickelback.  And Dave Grohl has some range as a singer/songwriter.  I don't know how much of their stuff you've listened to, but if you listen to the albums instead of the singles, you'll see some impressive versatility.


April 8th, 2012 at 12:05 PM ^

I feel the same way.



Sure there's worse, but the accolades they receive just boggle the mind. Appreciation for all the foo they fight I guess. Someone has to do it.


April 10th, 2012 at 8:32 AM ^

Yes, that is exactly what I'm saying.   Without the Nirvana aura it is unlikely the music he created for his Foo Fighters project would have ever gotten picked up by a major label and you would have never heard of him.


That being said, he did make Nirvana much better after he joined with his drumming.  I respect his drumming quite a bit.  But not his songwriting, guitar playing, lyrical or vocal ability.  There are a million dudes knocking around bars in North America who can sing/guitarsling as well as he can.

Doesn't suck.  Just not great.




April 8th, 2012 at 9:37 AM ^

It was a great concert, but it was on their "People's Key" tour...and I'm not a big fan of the album.  Also, Conor Oberst isn't the alcoholic he was when he was younger, so the show was a little more subdued.  That's a good thing for him, of course, but it's just different.


April 8th, 2012 at 8:29 AM ^

Lot of talk about Detroit rock on here and no mention of Sponge? I saw them play in front of about 50 people at a bar in Worcester a couple years ago and they rocked the place. Like Detroit, they've seen better times but they keep plugging away.


April 8th, 2012 at 8:50 AM ^

Jack's very, very good and i'm not even close to being a White Stripes fan, but "best guitarist of a generation" is too subjective to ever reach consensus on. I'd say that Tim Sult (Clutch) has better chops than White or Grohl, see: The Bakerton Group for more technical work than with Clutch.

On Detroit, i'm of the relatively small group of white people under 40 who can say that i was born in the Shitty and actually lived there as a child. We moved out (to the little shitty of Ypsi) when i was in elemntary school, but my grandfather was a scion of the Polish-American community in Detroit so i spent huge amounts of time in it even after moving away. High school in Livonia brought me closer again. Then i turned down my UM acceptance and went to Wayne, living in the city in the early-mid 90's...before the Ilitch turnaround on Woodward really took hold. So yeah, drive-bys happened in my college neighborhood and crack heads wandered into classes.

It may be a shit-hole, but it's my shit-hole and nobody not from it has any right to speak ill of Detroit. As far as i'm concerned, the rest of America still owes Detroit a huge debt for all the city gave 20th Century America.

I may be an outlier. During my six years living abroad, people would say that i was from Detroit or Michigan rather than being an American. I never argued.


April 9th, 2012 at 12:34 AM ^

I was in Geneva in for a few days the summer of '99 and I saw a handbill on a bulletin board promoting a techno show announcing the "best DJs from Detroit, USA." I don't really like techno at all but I thought about going to the show just to represent.


April 8th, 2012 at 9:05 AM ^

Now if that isn't a sign of the end of times I don't know what is...

And being really really really good at guitar is overrated.  I prefer guitarist like kurdt cobain, dimebag darrell, and jack white who may not be crazy good but write very good songs.. I prefer them over john mayer and a million other 'talented' guys who write uninspired songs...  but that is just me.



April 8th, 2012 at 9:38 AM ^

The ardent defense of and loyalty to Detroit in this thread is PURE MICHIGAN.

Love it. Jack White is my favorite musician that still currently produces music. I think he's one of the best. But I'm also incredibly biased having lived in Michigan my whole life.


April 8th, 2012 at 9:39 AM ^


The Courage of Detroit - by Mitch Albom. Without a doubt, the greatest article ever written about Michigan and the city of Detroit. Hit's the nail on the head.


A couple great quotes from the article.

"It's not that we watch more, or pay more, or cheer louder than other cities. But I will bet you my last dollar that, when it comes to sports, nobody cares as much as Detroit cares."

"People in Detroit can still tell you where they were when they heard about that limo smashing into a tree in suburban Birmingham six days after the Cup win of '97, forever changing the lives of Vladimir Konstantinov, Slava Fetisov and Sergei Mnatsakanov. Vigils were held outside the hospital.

Remember, these were two hockey players and a masseur, Russians to boot; none of them did much talking in English. Didn't matter. They were ours, and they were wounded. It felt as if there was no other news for weeks in Detroit. "You hear anything?" people would say. "Any updates?"


"Enough. We're not gum on the bottom of America's shoe. We're not grime to be wiped off with a towel. Detroit and Michigan are part of the backbone of this country, the manufacturing spine, the heart of the middle class -- heck, we invented the middle class, we invented the idea that a factory worker can put in 40 hours a week and actually buy a house and send a kid to college. What? You have a problem with that? You think only lawyers and hedge-fund kings deserve to live decently?"

"Maybe because when our kids finish college and take that first job in some sexy faraway city and a year later we see them back home and we ask what happened, they say, "I missed my friends and family." And we nod and say we understand."


April 8th, 2012 at 10:18 AM ^

I'm not sure why, but Jack White has never done it for me. I recognize that be is talented and he has a unique flair to him bit I've never enjoyed a single piece of music he has put out

Maximinus Thrax

April 8th, 2012 at 12:16 PM ^

I always hated these sorts of conversations, as if we can discuss the greatness of guitarists in the same way we can discuss the greatness of point guards or left handed hitters.  It always annoyed me because while one can somewhat quantify technical proficiency, it is hard to quantify the personal touches that often define what an artist is all about.  John McLaughlin is a perfect example of a guitarist with stunning technique who leaves a lot of people cold because they see him as somewhat robotic (I, for one, am a great fan of his work).  Similarly, I find it ridiculous that John Mayer somewhow makes it into a conversation of who are the greatest guitar players, while some amazing people like Steve Hillage or Sonny Sharrock are seldom mentioned.  It is the ESPNization, or the around the hornization of our culture, where everything gets boiled down in a mad rush to crown somebody the greatest of all time at something.


April 8th, 2012 at 1:56 PM ^

The board is getting clogged up with useless topics. The actual on-topic posts these days get lost and fall way down the list because of stuff like this. This is an insult to Brian and the site by clogging up the board with this garbage.


April 9th, 2012 at 10:09 AM ^

Just my $0.02 but he is my favorite. He was up there in technical proficiency, had a certain flair in his work, and died way too young to fufill his potential.