Sunday, November 19, 2006

Jack White

White's initial professional music experience came in the early 1990s as a drummer for the Detroit country-punk band Goober and the Peas. This led to stints with various other bands The Go, The Upholsterers, and Jack White and The Bricks. Also, in addition to being his mentor and neighbor, Muldoon would play drums with White in late night jam sessions; informally, they called themselves Two Part Resin.

Jack met Meg White in 1994, and they were married on September 21, 1996. Characteristically unorthodox, Jack took her last name. In July of 1997, the White Stripes made their first live appearance at the Gold Dollar in Detroit. In keeping live performances to three elements, Jack fulfilled guitar and vocal duties while she played drums. They later divorced in 2000 (before becoming nationally famous) but the band survived.

Starting out as an underground favorite in Detroit and other circles, the White Stripes came to international attention when, in 2001, British DJ John Peel raved of the band on his radio show. The buzz turned the White Stripes into a sensation in Britain, and the enthusiasm soon crossed the pond to the States. In a 2003 special issue, Rolling Stone named White the 17th greatest guitarist of all time.

The critical and popular success of the White Stripes opened up new opportunities for White. In 2003, he was well-received in the role of Georgia, the love interest of Renée Zellweger's character, in the feature film Cold Mountain. He also performed several songs for the film's soundtrack (produced by T Bone Burnett) in a traditional acoustic style. As a result of his involvement in the movie, he and Zellweger began dating, but broke up in 2004. Later in that same year, he appeared with Meg in one of the shorts comprising Jim Jarmusch's film Coffee and Cigarettes. Meanwhile, there had been buzz about a project in development, as White produced Loretta Lynn's 2004 album Van Lear Rose, singing with her on the duet "Portland, Oregon." The album was released in April 2004 to massive critical acclaim, and earned five Grammy Awards nominations, going on to win both Best Country Album and Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for the duet.

White made a surprise appearance with Bob Dylan during Dylan's performance in Detroit on March 17, 2004 during the second encore, performing the White Stripes song "Ball and Biscuit."

White has referred to The Stooges' 1970 album Fun House as "the greatest rock 'n' roll record ever made." As a result, he was invited by Rhino Records to contribute liner notes to the 2005 deluxe reissue of the album.

In 2005, White recorded and produced the first 45 record for his former teacher Brian Muldoon's family project, The Muldoons. Muldoon's two sons, ages 8 and 11, front the trio.

As of 2006, White is touring following the release of The Raconteurs' (or the Saboteurs, as they are legally known in Australia) debut album Broken Boy Soldiers. Jack and Meg made a cameo appearance on the September 17, 2006 episode of The Simpsons in which Homer and Marge buy a drum kit for Bart and he becomes a jazz drummer, making Lisa jealous.

White is to work with Garbage vocalist Shirley Manson on a number of tracks for her debut solo album.