John Anthony White, better known as Jack White III, is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer from the United States. He is best known as the White Stripes’ lead singer and guitarist. But did you know that he took his wife’s last name when they got married?
When Jack White and Meg White married in 1996, he took Meg White’s surname. The couple divorced in 2000, and both married new partners while continuing to make music together.
Jack White: The Guitar God
In the 1960s and 1970s, the guitar hero was so famous that you couldn’t move for them. Guitars were the most popular musical instrument, and those who could conjure up riffs were considered gods among mortals.
While great new electric guitar players emerge daily, guitar heroes – names bordering on mythical, who take over the mainstream and become synonymous with awesome licks – appear less frequently. Jack White is the tallest man in the twenty-first century.
Jeff Beck is one guitarist who has progressed from guitar hero to guitar god. Beck’s invitation to The White Stripes to join him on stage during his 2002 Royal Festival Hall residency suggested a passing of the baton. Beck recognized White’s brilliance, widely regarded as the greatest living guitarist.
The White Stripes was then only known as one of the bands, a collection of disparate garage rock revivalists who all found success in 2001. The Hives, The Strokes, and The Vines were also prominent at the time.
The bands were a punk rock reaction to nu metal, much like grunge was to hair metal years before. Garage rock was a refreshing celebration of the lo-fi, the loose, and the lairy at a time when metal albums were overproduced to oblivion, with every element digitally shifted to be metronomically in time.
As strange as it may seem now, it was initially unclear which bands would be the Beatles of the movement and which would be Herman’s Hermits. Everyone except Jeff Beck, who saw the spark, is baffled.
Jack White is a true polymath: a guitarist, songwriter, arranger, producer, gearhead, and the founder of Third Man Records. (Source: Guitar World)
Jack White, the Philanthropist
White has donated money to organizations in his hometown of Detroit. In 2009, White contributed nearly $170,000 to the renovation of Clark Park’s baseball diamond in southwest Detroit.
In 2013, the Detroit Masonic Temple was on the verge of foreclosure after it was revealed that the owners owed $142,000 in back taxes. White paid the entire bill, it was revealed in June 2013. In his honor, the temple has decided to rename its second largest theater, the Jack White Theater.
White made an initial gift of $200,000 to the National Recording Preservation Foundation to be used toward restoring and preserving deteriorating sound recordings on media such as reel-to-reel tape and old cylinders.
The donation demonstrated a commitment by a really busy songwriter and performer, donating both his time on the board and money to preserve our national song recording heritage, according to the foundation’s director, Eric J. Schwartz. White also serves on the foundation’s board of directors. (Source: Guitar World)