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The White Stripes

1997-2011
Jack White(guitar, vocals)
Meg White(drums)

Artistfacts for The White Stripes

  • For years, Jack and Meg told people they were brother and sister, concocting elaborate stories about how they grew up together they youngest of 10 children, with Meg learning to play on Jack's drum kit. They were actually married. Jack's real last name was Gillis, but he took her last name when they wed in 1996. The brother-sister story was very believable because they look so much alike. They still refer to each other as siblings.
  • They are from Detroit, but broke out in England long before they gained much attention in America.
  • On stage, they would only wear red, black and white clothes. Jack feels they are the colors of "Anger and innocence."
  • Jack likes to use dilapidated equipment, like an old guitar the Montgomery Ward department store used to sell, and a beat-up amplifier. He feels it makes him more creative and distinguishes their sound from the slick production so common in modern music.
  • The Detroit Free Press was the first publication to break the story that Jack and Meg were married. They did so in March, 2001.
  • Jack was the drummer in a band called Goober And The Peas before forming the White Stripes.
  • Jack grew up in West Detroit, Meg grew up in Grosse Point, a wealthy suburb.
  • Jack and Meg both smoke lots of cigarettes, but Jack won't touch alcohol.
  • Jack collects animal heads. Stuffed ones.
  • Their album Elephant was released on vinyl before it came out on CD. This helped keep it from getting pirated.
  • In 2005, Jack married Karen Elson, the model who appeared in the Stripes' "Blue Orchid" video (She's the one who isn't Jack or Meg). (thanks, Jim - Newmarket, Canada)
  • In December of 2005 they became the first band to ever perform on Comedy Central's The Daily Show. (thanks, Kevin - Linden, NJ)
  • Jack pled guilty to a misdemeanor assault and battery charge after getting in a fight with Von Bondies lead singer Jason Stollsteimer.
  • They appeared as themselves on an episode of The Simpsons when Bart organizes a benefit concert to raise money for an operation after his drumming arm is mangled by a tiger in "Jazzy And The Pussycats." (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
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Comments: 53

The White Stripes' music is progressive & they know what they're doing. And they're doing things right because they have a huge fan base now. The alternative rock FM stations in my area are in love with The White Stripes' music & I just heard "Seven Nation Army" this morning. Catchy, quirky song and those lyrics are enigmatic (i.e., "I'm going to Wichita....") . I first heard it in the early 2000's and still love it. We need more music from you guys. Rock On! I'm Going To Wichita !Bubblesk - Memphis, Tn
i love the white stripes. jack is a modern day john lennon in my opinionMichael - Morris County, Nj
i love the white stripes!! CHRIS FROM LAS VEGAS, U SUCK! GET A FREAKIN LIFE! jeezTammy - Ct, United States
aaahh Jack is such and amazing guitarist!!!!! he's sooooooooo good and can do amazing tricks with it! oh and the singing is amazing, especially the part in Black Math! They need to do another song that has more of the ah ah ah ah ah part in it, it's just so cool! and his dedication is so great and inspirational!Anna - Atlanta, Ga
THE WHITE STRIPES ARE ABSOLUTLY AMAZING AND SO INSPIRATIONAL!! I love, love, love them and think there music is unique and touching. I love the songs Conquest, You've Got Her In Your Front Pocket, and Slowly Turning Into You!! I wake up to Icky Thump everymorning so thank you White Stripes for waking me up everyday!!!!!!! loovelooovelovoovve!!
Anna woot!
Anna - Atlanta, Ga
Did all of you criticizing kids know that Jack did not even begin playing the guitar until he was 17? From there, he was listed in the top 100 best guitarists in Rolling Stone. The White Stripes are amzing, and they use less technology than most "in" bands right now. Besides, the lyrics are what I find to be most important.Tiffany - Huntsville, Al
to who ever asked who holly is:
Holly is an old friend of jack and meg's ive talked to her once actually, she is not very popular but sh is a folk singer. thats all i know
Lindsay - Royal Oak, Mi
ok so Jack and Meg were married and there are only 2 people in the band. so i would just like to know, Who is Holly? cos in the song 'it's true that we love one another' jack is singing to someone called Holly.Beckylucyanne - Cardiff, England
Just to let you know you spelled Grosse Pointe wrongEric - Grosse Pointe Woods, Mi
Hey ok first of all Jack white was hitched to megan white 1996 they later divorced after four years of marrige in 2000 then in march 2001 a writer for the detroit free press wrote a story exposing jack and meg as divorcees that same paper showed there divorce papersMissy - Montgomery, Wv
if anybody's wondering, meg and jack divorced in 1995. i'm serious...they divorced, and their divorce papers and marriage license can be found on the Glorious Noise website.Shaun - Not Telling, Tx
they're kooky, a little on the monochromatic sound, fun, and a little creepy...I love My DoorbellA - Sry, Peru
I saw them live at big day out, absolutely mind blowing. There is no one else playing any instruments on stage. Jack White has 2 electric guitars on stage, one of which has an octave divider, which is how he gets the bassy sounds.Danny - Sydney, Australia
also big ups to ben from new markent, canadaMike - South Plainfield, Nj
so much constroversy, publicity stunts are so predictableBen - Nyc, Ms
your friends mom is an idiot the white stripes rock beyond reason there amazing oh and in seven nation army there is not another guitar or bass going its just them and i would no i have been to more than ten of there concerts and seen them play seven nation army each time just them.
melissa Oh
Missy - Montgomery, Wv
well well well people giving flak for only having two members. people giving flak for overdubbing (which to add onto someone elses comment has actually been around since the beatles). and to this guy chris in las vegas you go ahead and post a link to your music thats more complex, sounds better, and is more meaningful to the joe that the rest of us are then ill go to it. most likely its poo poo shoddy. as a sound engineer you may not understand it, but irrevelant of the fact you probably arent, nine times out of ten less is more. go out play music. try a blind harmony i bet you cant do it. come back please cause id like to destroy your ego, cause obviously youve got something sooooooooooo much better than what they have.Dylan - Manassas, Va
On a lot of Beatles tracks Paul McCartney is the only musician, playing Bass, Guitar, Drums, Piano, and Vocals. Ex. Martha My Dear, I Will, Why Don't We Do IT In The Road?, Mother Natures Son, adn lots of others.John Dylan - Blah, Ms
This ben guy is right. It dosent matter how manny people are in a band it only matters how good they play. Jack said on 100 Precent (thatsatvshow)
that they dont hire a bass cause they limit envery thing to the number 3. Even though theres only 2 people in the band they have 3 componits... Guitar, Drums, and Vocals. He also said that they can do stuff whith 2 people that they cant do with more. Like change songs in the middle of another one. So stop raggn on the white strips for being diffrent
Paul - Castalia, Nc
I don't understand how you can debate the number of members a band should have. White Stripes do what they do and if it doesn't appeal to you you should probably listen to something else rather than lament the absence of a bass or a banjo or whatever else yer jonesin' for. If you think Jack is "cheating" by using effects, you must also be very much against his use of an amplifier and electric guitar to begin with. You must be very much against every single thing about rock music. Doesn't David Gilmour use the same kind of pedal? Not that you would like Pink Floyd, since they are the biggest cheaters out there. (They even use robots at live shows to distract people from how bad they suck.) You may not like the Stripes but whether you think their music is good or not shouldn't fog your vision of its quality. They are obviously skilled in their delivery and the writing is brilliant. Labelling them "good for just two people" is as insulting as giving anything but the highest respect to someone like Neil Young who can do more with an acoustic guitar than most people can in a full band. It is quite the novelty, though, to hear two people make that sound. Also hi to Jim from the same town!Ben - Newmarket, Canada
I don't understand how people can have this debate about the proper number of members to have in a band.Ben - Newmarket, Canada
I know that this is a White Stripes post site and I think that their really good( expecaily in the hardest button to button), but what Liam said kinda ticked me off. Green Day does have an extra guitarist, but thats just so that Billie Joe can concentrate more on singing and entertaining the croud. There not the first ones to do it. Really sucessful bands like Nirrvana did it. But any way the White Strips is a cool band and I like them a lot.Paul - Castalia, Nc
White stripes are okay, I just got here from random artist, but I had no clue that Jack used to drum, I had no clue that they were really married, and how did Jack take Megs last name? And if they are both married, Jack also married Karen Elson?
Who does bigamy anymore?
Cheers
Richie - Philidelphia, Pa
Please, people, do not try to look into the white stripes too much. Don't try to work out how they produce the sound they do with only 2 people. Don't look into the whole sibling/spouse thing too much. Just listen to their music.Danny - Sydney, Australia
Over dubbing isn't as new as some of you guys may think, listen to some of Queen's music for instance, Bohemian Rhapsody. That song is crazily overdubbed (in it's time) but we love it don't we? The idea of a two person band though, I think is retarded, it would make more sense to work with other people and mix influences. A two man band will just plain suck because it would be too hard to make those nitty gritty complicated songs, "you don't have a drum expert?! Well who is going to experiment with the beat for all of the f'N songs while I'm making the lyrics, the lead guitar, secondary guitar, bass guitar, and all the recordings all work together?!?!" See what I mean? It is hard and its ineffective. Actually that would be pointless anyways because the pop. rock of this generation is all pretty much the same. Influence mixing is dead.Kendall - Thomasville, Ga
The White Stripes is a minimalist band. This originates mainly from Folk Music and is method of creating simple yet melodic music that helps emphasize the meaning of the lyrics. Just because they write easy-to-play music doesn't mean that they are not great musicians. It simply means that they use a less well known technique in their writing. This also attributes to their lack of bassist. Whether this technique works or not is a matter of taste and opinion.
Jack White is actually a great guitarist. In live recordings such as Under Blackpool Lights, he shows off some extraordinary soloing skills. I feel that their chemistry is another notable factor. They interact with such apetheticism which only furthers the thought that they only need themselves.
Jim - Newmarket, Canada
The Blackpool Lights DVD RocksLiam - Cardiff, Wales
The octave pedal was invented so they didnt have to have a bloody bassist. go listen to seven nation armyLiam - Cardiff, Wales
Jack uses an octave divider that makes it sound like seperate instruments. Recently they started using overdubbing on the studio tracks; particularly on the latest record. Bands like Green Day cheat and have an extra guitarist on stage to play when Billy-Joe is Jumping around and being stupid. peace out.Liam - Cardiff, Wales
chris from las vegas clearly dose not know good music, so as far as I am conncernd you can blow big floppy donky dick vegas boy!!! white stripes rule!!!!!Jer - London, Canada
in "coffee and cigarettes", there is a scene starring the white stripes where Jack is showing his tesla spiral off to Meg.Danny - Sydney, Australia
Jack's first movie was the Rosary Murders where he played an altar boy in 1987... He playe Georgia in Cold Mountain, which was his first speaking role in a film.Stephannie - Mt. Olive, Nc
The marriage/sibling thing, its not THAT hard to understand. Jack and Meg White are brother and sister if they say so. John Gillis on the other hand was married to Meg White. Geddit? It was the same with Bob Dylan who claimed to have been some of Kerouac style hobo. And sure "Bob Dylan" was, but Robert Zimmerman on the other hand wasn't... Its a staple thing in rock music, change your name, you are who you say you are. David Bowie (not even his real name to begin with) made a career out of it (Ziggy, Alladin Sane, etc). All those early rock n roll singers "Rory Storm" etc all did and had exciting and cool biographies, nobody wants rock stars called "Cuthbert" who used to work in accountancy.

The White Stripes, being a bit retro, are just doing the same thing.
Robbie - Foggy Bottom, England
Chris in Vegas....I'm waiting for your latest CD dood......Jim - Detroit, Mi
OKay, The white stripes are brilliant, their music is absoloutely stunning for seven nation army and hardest button to button he uses a pedal called a whammy 4 it simulates a whaammy bar meaning the octave drops simulating a bass, you see it on his concert DVD in which he sounds just fine with no dubs, no backing tracks, no back up guitarists, nothing, just him and megChris - Rockford, Il
They actually were offered a job doing a Target commercial, but they didn't take it because they didn't want to be a household name. "Hey man, where'd you get tickets to the Stripes show?" "Oh, my mom bought them. She loves the guys." That would be pretty lameSumner - Bryant, Ar
The white stripes are an incredable band considering they only have 2 people in there band, the brother and sister thing was for publistiy, just like how to beatles pretended paul was dead...Kurt - Suffragette City, Canada
The White Stripes DO have talent, but i think they'd be a hell of ALOT better if they had a bass player. It's sort of sad that there's just two people, but for two people they're pretty damn good.Raechel - London, England
they suck, thatls all there is to it, there music is easy and pitiful and a disgrace to music because of it [truthfully rap, pop and punk disgrace music,] but they suck pretty bad too, there not geniuses, and they do not have a good mix, they cheat by doing over dubbs if they want to sound good, they should hire more band members, thats all there is to it, ill have more respect for them if they do that, but they still blow alot of floppy donkey dickChris - Las Vegas, Nv
I think the thing that makes the Stripes so great is looking at what you are all writing. Some of you despise them, others love them. The mark of a truly great band is that they let their music draw their publicism, they don't have to rely on other methods. Love them or hate them, they're still pure genious.Travis - Lawrence, Ks
And in regards to the releasing "Elephant" on vinyl, was because (as stated in unofficial biography "the white stripes: candy colored blues) Jack didn't want any music critic or press reviewing his music, if they didn?t own a record player. Very risky, but it worked....i love the white stripesS.cleary - Sydeny, Australia, United States
I learnt, via 'Rolling Stones', that Jack refuses to discuss the "brother sister / married couple" issue, as they say it detracts from their music. They have a good point.S.cleary - Sydeny, Australia, United States
I think The White Stripes have a mix like no other.Ali - Syracuse , Ny
almost all recordings are recorded on multitrack recorders. many "bands" only have one person actually playing all the instruments on an album, and rely on back up musicians for the live show, where perfection isn't as critical. some pop rock groups like creed might have 30-40 or more guitar tracks layered to make the sound big and full. same with vocals. enya has been known to layer literally hundreds of vocal tracks over each other to get the smooth, thick sound she is famous for on her albums.

it's not cheating, it just sounds better on the album. you can get away with less instruments in a live setting, but on an album, it just sounds like a cheap demo if you only have one guitar and no bass on all the sounds. the white stripes do a good job of sounding minimal without sounding like they recorded a demo.
Eric. - Orange County, Ca
Jack did some of the music for Cold Mountain and that's how he met Renee Zellweger.Tom - Trowbridge, England
Just for the record, Jack is actually from the east side of Detroit (not the west side), and Meg's hometown is Grosse Pointe (with an "e" at the end). They grew up about two miles away from each other.James - Troy, Mi
Was this guy Jack in the movie Cold Mountain?Legacy User - Legacy Location
Do they use computers or overdub or something? Because I could have sworn I heard 2 guitars when I heard some of their songsWill - Portland, Or
To answer Mike's question, Jack often uses a guitar effect called an octave divider that produces a similar note in a different register, making it sound like multiple instuments. On their most recent recordings, they may also be doing some overdubs (recording on top of already recorded tracks) to get a more layered sound.Robert - Berkeley, Ca
yes, they are divorced... i think jack was going out with that chick from bridget jones' diary... i can't think of her name at the momment... but they broke up too because jack loved his guitar more than her...Rae - Squaresville, Oh
these guys are brilliant but is anyone else kinda creeped out by the fact that they were(are?)married and yet try to pass themselves off as siblings? just creepy to me you know saying that someone you had sex with is your brother/sister.Alatriel - Lothlorien, Other
in seven nation army they have another guitar and a bass going. where the hell are these instrumnets coming from, there are only 2 ppl in the band... grrrMike - Philly, Pa
My friend's mom said they looked like a target commercial when they performed.Nick - Paramus, Nj