Jack White

July 9, 1975
  • Songs
  • Artistfacts ®
  • John Anthony Gills (Jack White's birth name) was an altar boy.
  • He had a brief uncredited appearance at the age of 12 in the 1987 movie The Rosary Murders, which was filmed at his home parish Holy Redeemer in southern Detroit.
  • Jack White almost became a priest. After being accepted into a seminary in Wisconsin, White realized he probably wouldn't have been able to bring along his new amplifier with him. He decided to go to public school instead and that's where he took on a three-year upholstery apprenticeship.
  • In 2003, Jack got in a fight with fellow Detroit musician Jason Stollsteimer from The Von Bondies. White was charged with misdemeanor aggravated assault and was forced to pay $750 plus court fees. He was also ordered to take anger management classes.
  • In 2007, Jack White's band The White Stripes made history by playing the shortest concert ever (one note) in St. John's, Newfoundland. The next night, the band played a full set in the same city to a packed house at the Mile One Centre.
  • He married a British supermodel, Karen Elson, in a canoe on the Amazon river in a ceremony officiated by a shaman. The couple announced their divorce six years later in June 2011.
  • When White and Karen Elson separated, they threw a party in Nashville "to celebrate their sixth anniversary and their upcoming divorce with a positive swing bang humdinger," as the invitations put it, adding: "This is only for close personal friends and family so please no plus ones or dead beats."
  • Jack White appeared in the documentary It Might Get Loud with his idols Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin and The Edge from U2. He wrote and recorded his first solo single "Fly Farm Blues" in 10 minutes while the cameras were rolling.
  • Jack White uses his pinky to fret notes on the guitar rather than his ring finger. This is because he injured his left ring finger in a car accident and it is not as stable as his other fingers on the same hand.
  • In 2012, Jack White appeared in an episode of the hit show American Pickers. In the episode, White trades his photo booth, Jukebox, and $6,000 US for a taxidermy elephant head.
  • White owns his own masters and keeps them locked in a vault. He gains entry to them by means of a biometric scan of his thumbprint.
  • White's debut solo album, Blunderbuss was his first to reach #1 on the Billboard 200. White's previous highest chart placing had been the White Stripes' 2007 album Icky Thump, which peaked at #2. His releases with his other bands, the Raconteurs and the Dead Weather had also failed to reach the top spot.
  • Jack White has a private three-lane bowling alley in the outbuilding of his Nashville home. He also keeps there racks of personalized bowling balls for his friends, including Bob Dylan.
  • Among a host of rare items that White owns are Leadbelly's New York City arrest record, a copy of Action Comics No. 1 from June 1938, which includes Superman's first published appearance and the first demo recording Elvis Presley ever made, dating from 1953. White bought the latter for $300,000 (£245,192) from an auction.

    "If I'm going to invest in something, it has to have meaning to me, something that has historical value and can be passed on," he told The New Yorker. "If I buy Elvis' first record, and we are able to digitise it and release it, and people can own it, or I can preserve this comic book, it is cooler than buying some Ferrari or investing in British Petroleum."
  • Jack White has six brothers and three sisters. He is the youngest of them by seven years, with a father born in the 1920s.
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