Sunday, January 23, 2011

I Have a Man Crush on Jack White

By: Zack Conner

Who's the hardest working man in show business?  Well James Brown is dead, so I'm bestowing that title on Jack White.

Since 1997, White has founded three critically acclaimed bands (The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, and The Dead Weather), recorded with legends like Wanda Jackson and Loretta Lynn, founded a recording label and studio (Third Man Records), and even collaborated with Jay-Z.  In short, the man keeps busy.

 
 Above: With Jay-Z. Photo by Philip Andelman. 

But for me, his musical talent is not the only reason why I can comfortably say I would go gay for Jack White. It’s his style that is the other main contributor to my creepy love obsession for him.

 
   Photo: Dean Chalkley

With every band, and even every album, Jack transforms his style and persona into something wonderfully unique. There’s the classic red and white candy striper image with The White Stripes; the Rockabilly king in rugged jeans and Elvis sideburns for The Raconteurs; and the dark, mysterious, leather-clad ruffian for The Dead Weather. 
 
Above: With Meg for the Elephant album 

Jack's image has evolved multiple times during his White Stripes career alone.  As a breakout star of the underground punk rock scene in Detroit, his uniform consisted of white t-shirts and red pants, but he soon graduated to cowboy themed attire, like the jumpsuit he sported for the Elephant album photoshoot. 
 
 Above: With Meg White for Icky Thump

On Get Behind Me Satan, Jack brought out his stylish inner devil, and on Icky Thump, he was a combo of bedazzled western star and 1920s newsie, a kooky creation only he could have come up with.  

 Above: On stage with The Raconteurs

Even the instruments that Jack chooses are eccentric. Jack’s favorite guitars include a plastic 1965 JB Airline guitar and a beat up 1950s Kay, which he got as payment for moving a friend into his house. The pure energy that he can exude from these two cheap guitars (even though the airline guitar now sells for $1,000) is astonishing. 

 
 Above: Promo shoot with The Dead Weather

My love for Jack White is one that is rare. To me, Jack personifies everything that is different and unique in the world. His style of music, fashion, and even his humor are all fantastically peculiar and so well-expressed.
Above: With Meg White for Get Behind Me Satan

He is obsessed with the number three (he likes to be referred to as Jack White III), he took the last name of his ex-wife, Meg White, still swears that she is his sister, and even had his child (Scarlett Teresa White) take that last name rather than Jack’s real name, Gillis. He is so out there that it constantly has me wondering “What in the hell is Jack White going to do next?”
 
 
 Above: With wife Karen Elson at the Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute Gala
 
The best part about Jack White is how unaffected he is of his own fame. White is never in the spotlight, you won’t see him on Entertainment Tonight, and even though he is worth over $30 million, he drives a Toyota Camry. Many could argue that his supermodel wife, Karen Elson, is more popular in the fashion world than Jack is in music. I don’t remember the last time one of Jack’s bands was #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100.

And that's the difference between Jack White and other rock stars; he doesn't make music for the fame or fortune.  He makes music because it's part of his soul.

2/2/11 Update: Sad news indeed! The White Stripes have announced their breakup! 

7 comments:

  1. Jack and Karen are such a hot couple!

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  2. What a wonderful article! I don't know all that much about his music, but I remember seeing a documentary about him and thinking his personal style was really cool. Thanks for sharing.

    Love,
    Heather
    http://heathersdesignblog.com/

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  3. I'm a girl, but I also have a man crush on Jack White. He's the real deal. Whatever that means.

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  4. He always seems very genuine, a great bloke!

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  5. You can really tell that Jack White is authentic because his ideas are insane in a good way! His favorite song is obscurely "Grinnin' in Your Face" by Son House, and he has an obsession with coils and electricity as seen in the movie Coffee and Cigarettes. This guy isn't kidding. He isn't afraid to look odd, and he does what he loves without fame as the driving factor. I love Jack White! He also makes his own guitar. If you haven't seen his documentary Under Great White Northern Lights, you will fall in love with him more.

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  6. I love him. Though, it seems, not as much as my fiance does. As a woman engaged to a man who would *also* go gay for Jack White, I thoroughly enjoy and endorse this post. Rock on.

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  7. I love everything he makes. Jack White is an icon of our time

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