How Jack White earned his Stripes


GUITARIST Jack White has come a long way for a man who claimed to have no ambitions other than to own his own upholstery shop and play in bands at weekends.

Last night he found himself in receipt of a James Joyce award from UCD’s Literary and Historical Society in front of a packed audience of students.

White was in good form on the eve of his concert tonight in the O2 and responded to a question and answer session with students with a considerable degree of thoughtfulness and humour.

“Where’s Meg?” asked one of the students, referring to his ex-wife and the other half of the phenomenally successful The White Stripes.

“I don’t know,” responded White in such a way as to draw a laugh from the audience and to shut down the question straight away.

White spoke about his love of blues music, his successful solo album Blunderbuss, his fascination with the number three and touring with two different bands, “it gets me more girls”.

Two years ago he made a documentary about the electric guitar entitled This Might Get Loud with U2’s the Edge and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page (“I think that was his name”).

“Once we got together, we bonded over blues and punk music: that tied us all together. The idea was to get three guitar players, any guitar players, to talk about the guitar and why it was popular.”

He was alerted to U2’s music by his brother when he was 12 and didn’t like it at first. “It wasn’t heavy enough,” he recalled. But he came to appreciate the Edge’s unique style. “Nobody does what he does. The notes on his guitar keep rolling over each other all the time. Nobody can touch that.”