I’m sitting in my apartment, listening to the audio from The White Stripes’ Under Nova Scotian Lights and smiling sadly as Jack White sings/screams “One more cup of coffee for the road.” Oh Jack – how we wish you guys would take another stab at it, gulp down some more caffeine, and take your show on the road just once more.
For all the shows I’ve seen, somehow I’ve managed never to see Jack White perform. (I saw Jack Black play as a member of Tenacious D, but that’s an entirely different monster.) I’ve gulped down White Stripes, Raconteurs, and Dead Weather bootlegs like they were water, upon each listen promising myself that I’d see Jack the next time he was in town – in whatever outfit he’d be playing with – but they slipped through my concert-going fingers time and again. And while I still have the option to see him in two of his current/temporary hiatus bands, The White Stripes were how I really wanted to see him.
It all started when we all fell in love with a stupidly simple drum beat, four chords, and a Lego-inspired music video. It was 2001 and the music world was looking for a hero; looking for respite from the overly muddled, heavily tracked, and depressing music that was marking rock and roll radio near the turn of the century. In this era just before Internet music took off, you either listened to the radio or local music. And for me, Puddle of Mudd and Staind weren’t really doing it, so I was ready for the next big thing. So when bands like The Strokes and The White Stripes hit the airwaves, I was hooked. Their stripped down sound was just what we were all looking for. So, you could say that The White Stripes saved rock and roll. It wasn’t epic. It wasn’t grand. And it wasn’t game-changing. But there was brilliance in the simplicity.
I fell in love with a girl
I fell in love once and almost completely
Creative. Simple. Brilliant.
But beyond the fact that The White Stripes basically saved music, they also excelled as a live band. Listen to Jack White’s voice. Listen to his intensity. He’s not playing music as a profession. Nor is he playing just because he loves music. No – Jack White plays music because he has no other choice; because he must. Brimming with raw, unbridled, pure rock and roll intensity, Jack and Meg’s joint musical soul has spent the last 10 years overflowing into our happily awaiting ears.
This is the band that made me love music again, and the musical world has taken a huge hit with their retirement. Jack, Meg – you will be sorely missed.
The White Stripes – Fell In Love With A Girl
The White Stripes – Apple Blossom > One More Cup Of Coffee > I Think I Smell A Rat