After a not-so-funny opening monologue from comedian Bill Burr on this past weekend’s “SNL,” the show needed someone to save it, and guitarist and singer Jack White did just that.
White wasn’t even supposed to perform on “SNL” this past weekend, but because the slotted musical guest Morgan Wallen was caught breaking quarantine protocols and asked by the show not to perform, White stepped in at the last minute and brought the house down.
White didn’t have any new music to promote, but that didn’t stop him from showing the audience what he does best: shredding on his guitar. Backed by only a drummer (with the coolest drum kit ever) and bassist, Jack White dipped back into his extensive back catalogue of songs, and played some classics.
His epic performance had the internet buzzing, and left a few wondering why they never checked him out before.
So if you’ve never heard of White, here are some things you might not have known. And if you’ve been rocking out to The White Stripes since 1999, you probably already appreciate all of these things.
1. He first played in the White Stripes -- until 2011.
White first saw a rise to fame with his duo The White Stripes. It was just White on guitar and his ex-wife, Meg White, on drums. The duo emerged from the underground garage rock scene in Detroit and went on to acquire worldwide fame, thanks to songs like “Seven Nation Army” and “Icky Thump.” Unfortunately, Meg White was not a fan of the musician life and the band officially broke up in 2011. On the bright side, that didn’t stop Jack White from still making music.
2. He has another band called the Raconteurs.
White is one of those artists who needs a lot of creative ways to express himself, so it’s not surprising that he’s a member of a few other bands. One of them is the Raconteurs, which formed in 2005. White is the lead singer and guitarist, and you may know their single “Steady as She Goes.” The band got together again in 2019 after a hiatus and released their third studio album, “Help Us Stranger.”
3. And another band called the Dead Weather.
This band, formed by White, is a little bit more special, since it’s technically a supergroup, meaning it consists of members from different bands. Along with White, the band includes Alison Mosshart (the Kills), Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age) and Jack Lawrence (the Raconteurs). The band hasn’t released an album since 2015 (it’s hard to get members of four different bands together), but that doesn’t mean White fans aren’t itching for them to record some new music together. In this group, White plays the drums, which just shows how musically talented he is.
4. He has his own record label called Third Man Records.
One of the coolest things White has done in his long career is starting his own record label, Third Man Records. Not only does he release all his own music, but he has signed new artists and helped launched their careers, including country music star Margo Price. The main headquarters is located in Nashville, but White also has a shop set up in his hometown Detroit.
5. He doesn’t allow phones at his concerts.
Maybe it’s White showing his age, but the man doesn’t like to perform live music to a sea of phones recording him -- he’d rather see fan faces. At his last solo tour in 2018, White had a company called Yondr at every tour stop, with locked pouches for fans to hold their phones in during the show. The pouch is sealed, and if fans need to use it during the show, they can use it in a designated spot at the venue. As someone who saw White live during that tour, it was a weird experience having your phone on but in a locked pouch. It certainly served as a way to make fans feel more present -- at least, for me it did. Perhaps it’s a trend that we could see more of in the future once concerts come back.
Now, go forth and rock out to some classic White Stripes.