Jack White shades Meg White: She ‘won’t high five me when I get the touchdown’

Jack White

This story is mostly an excuse for me to dig up old Jack White photos. I love the White Stripes and have all of their records. Jack and Meg White famously parted ways in 2011 after a 4-year hiatus. They played their final concert in 2007 to support the Icky Thump album but cancelled the full tour. The given reason for the pull-out was Meg’s acute social anxiety. She always was the quiet one of the duo and content to let Jack bask in the media glow. Jack went on to form a couple of new bands and continue to tour. Those bands weren’t that great, but Jack’s first solo album rocked. He’ll never achieve the same balance he had with Meg, but he’s a blues-soaked musical god in his own right.

Jack is starting to promote a new album, Lazaretto. I’m looking forwared to his usual brand of bitchy interviews, and he’s starting off on a roll. Jack’s taking aim at Meg because she doesn’t speak to him anymore. He says she never talked to him in the first place, but now she’s a complete hermit. Jack understands Meg’s personality all too well. They were once married, after all. This is how she’s always been. This interview is a little bit different — Jack seems particularly miffed by Meg’s indifference over his achievements. Someone needs a bottle and a diaper change:

Where is Meg White? “I don’t think anyone talks to Meg. She’s always been a hermit. When we lived in Detroit, I’d have to drive over to her house if I wanted to talk to her, so now it’s almost never.”

Jack’s beef with Meg: “She’s one of those people who won’t high-five me when I get the touchdown. She viewed me that way of ‘Oh, big deal, you did it, so what?’ Almost every single moment of the White Stripes was like that. We’d be working in the studio and something amazing would happen: I’m like, ‘Damn, we just broke into a new world right there!’ And Meg’s sitting in silence.”

On being the public voice: “I remember hearing Ringo Starr say, ‘I always felt sorry for Elvis, because in the Beatles we had each other to talk about what it felt like. Elvis was by himself.’ I was like, ‘Sh-t, try being in a two-piece where the other person doesn’t talk!'”

He does miss Meg’s contributions: “I would often look at her onstage and say, ‘I can’t believe she’s up here.’ I don’t think she understood how important she was to the band, and to me and to music. She was the antithesis of a modern drummer. So childlike and incredible and inspiring. All the not-talking didn’t matter, because onstage? Nothing I do will top that.”

[From Rolling Stone]

Jack sounds like he has some unresolved feelings about the Stripes’ breakup, right? I wouldn’t be surprised if he was secretly praying for a reunion. Jack’s been very successful on his own, but he’s never recaptured the chemistry he had with Meg. I believe that they made the perfect musical pair. Jack is such a high-flying virtuoso. He’s running around writing songs like a madmen. He’s doing vocals, guitar, and using a whammy pedal to mimic bass effects. He’s an overpowering presence, and Meg was there as an understated complement. She knew how to handle Jack and allowed him to fly as she held down the stripped-down backbone of their sound.

Jack misses Meg. He’s lashing out a little bit in this interview, but he wants her back.

Jack White

Jack White

Photos courtesy of Rolling Stone, Fame/Flynet, WENN & WhiteStripes.com

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60 Responses to “Jack White shades Meg White: She ‘won’t high five me when I get the touchdown’”

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  1. Soulange says:

    Ohw Jack..just admitt it, its not that bad.
    Just try it..

  2. Dana m says:

    Love Interrupted!

  3. someone says:

    Jack and Meg were married weren’t they? Such a strange relationship….

  4. Tobiana says:

    Spot on! He misses her something fierce and is unable to handle it. Poor guy.

  5. eliza says:

    I took from the interview that he really misses her and thinks extremely highly of her talent and contribution to their music.

    Personally, I love their sound but I have also liked his other collaborations as well.

    • Sullivan says:


    • mercy says:

      Me too. He really cared what she thought and sought her feedback and approval. That tells me he really respected her opinion. She wasn’t able to give him what he wanted in return, for whatever reason. I think it probably says as much or more about her as him. I often got the impression that Meg was the kind of person who was so sensitive that there were a lot of feelings she’d just rather not deal with out of fear of not bring able to get a handle on them. Maybe witholding emotions was her way of maintaining control. Whereas Jack seems just the opposite: sensitive but not afraid to make himself vulnerable, to the point of careening out of control sometimes. Maybe because he just can’t help it, but he also probably has to be able to tap into those emotions to write.

    • Nerd Alert says:

      I agree. I like his first solo album best, but I really thought the Dead Weather put a great, unique album together. It was strange but I liked it.

    • Trillion says:

      I actually prefer his other bands to WS. I can’t believe they were described as “not that great” in this post. Raconteurs and Dead Weather are like our generation’s Zeppelin to me. Lazaretto is going to be awesome. I only have the 2 pre-released songs, and they are some of the best he’s written. Gritty and bluesy, like you expect from him, but also very prog-y and layered with amazing production.

  6. Nona says:

    Oh my god, I love the White Stripes too. And yeah, he lashed out, but in the end, he made clear how much he misses her.
    I have a great Jack White story. A couple years ago, a friend of mine was in the airport smoking lounge, headed to the New Orleans Voodoo music fest. She noticed this guy with these really wild boots and she told him she loved his boots. They chatted for a while. Fast forward to the end of the weekend—she’s at the festival and the headliner walks out. The camera for the big screen pans up from his boots to his face and yep, it’s Jack White. She had never heard of him before and now she’s madly in love:)

  7. aenflex says:

    I love them. I’m wishing for a reunion too.

    • kri says:

      On the inside I am screaming and jumping up and down like I’m 12 years old!!! They are my all-time fave band. Such genius. Jack is a big bitch sometimes, but he sounds like a kid who will do ANYTHING to get attention while his mom is one the phone or something. Meg still has him by the balls, and I love it. He is amazing, she is his Mona Lisa, and he knows it. Btw, Lazaretto is stunning work.

  8. Hmmm says:

    I can’t help it, I just love him. And yes it would be great if there was a reunion.

    • It is what it is says:

      Same here. I think they should’ve stayed together and blown the blues world to bits with their awesomeness.

  9. Azurea says:

    The silence thing, & the no high-fiving? That was my husband, lol. It does wear on you.

  10. Dorothy#1 says:

    I love Jack White!!! We already preordered Lazaretto. I really like his solo album but none of his other bands in my opinion have come close to The White Stripes. Something about the songs he wrote when they were together are amazing!!! I get what he’s saying about her not talking or seeming excited that would get frustrating.

  11. Maritza says:

    Jack White looks so much like Signorey Weaver, not a good look for a man. I think it’s about time he change his hairstyle.

  12. I'mnotleo says:

    Jack, my next ex-husband. Sigh.

  13. Lucy says:

    I don’t think he sounds whiny. In fact, I think it’s great he’s able to be open about it. They’ve been involved in more ways than one, so no wonder he seems to miss her and respect her so much.

  14. Jac says:

    Sounds like on top of the social anxiety, Meg may have also been suffering from depression. It’s hard to get excited about other people’s joy when you can’t relate. I love them both, and would love to see a reunion tour if nothing else!!!

  15. Karen says:

    Meg White is the worst drummer. There is no subtlety to her style and she’s all about banging the drums and cymbals hard. Listen carefully to White Stripes songs and you’ll hear what I mean. She was dead weight, musically, and Jack White is better off without her.

    • Dreamyk says:

      I couldn’t disagree with you more. The White Stripes played stripped down blues in their rawest form. It required simplicity. Meg was perfect for that. Why did Jack want Meg on the drums? Because most drummers think they’re too evolved and above playing the drums the way that Jack and Meg constructed their songs. The White Stripes are perfection.

      I live in the Nashville area and really, really hope to see Jack at his Third Man studio one day. Not quite a Prince sighting, but pretty, pretty close 😀

      • snark says:

        Girl, I live in Nashville too and I see Jack all the time. Hang out in Berry Hill or down on Church St, and you’ll see him, I’m sure. You can’t miss him!

    • maggiegrace says:

      Karen! I’ve always said that Meg White was the least nuanced musician I’d ever seen or heard. She just sits there and bangs on the drums like an 11 year old.

    • Kaylen says:

      Jack has said 17,000 times that Meg opened a door for him to play the type of music that he wanted to play. He never would have gotten there without Meg. It never would have worked with anyone but Meg.

      Watch their live performances. They didn’t use set lists and Jack tended to switch songs at random. Meg was incredible at keeping up with him AND knowing where he was going before he even got there. As far as connecting on stage, I honestly can’t think of a pair that do or have done it better than Meg and Jack.

      I believe it was Ringo that once said Meg had perfect timing.

      She has/had a purpose with the type of drumming that she did, and she was excellent.

  16. Boodiba says:

    Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only person who thinks the White Stripes were over rated. I have a few of their records, sure. I liked them more early on, I guess. I got sick of them. Now I sometimes find his voice annoying.

    • GIRLFACE says:

      You’re not. Plenty of people agree with you.

    • RosettaStoned says:

      I’m from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and he used to come there and buy up dozens of albums of local bands & artists, and he even looked into buying a historically significant recording studio while in town….then when Icky Thump came out, a lot of the Shoals musicians felt like he had ripped off their sound and/or aesthetic ideas. Part of the reason he hates Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys so much is that Jack wants to be the ONLY one allowed to be inspired by/rip off Southern indie blues & rock … he can’t stand that the Black Keys showed everyone how EASY it is to get that sound. I think the White Stripes wrote some excellent songs together, but I do not think Jack White is any kind of genius, nor is his sound original in any way.

      • Kaylen says:

        Except Jack can crave his own guitars and write a song, on the spot, in fifteen minutes and it be the most catchy thing ever. Dan Auerbach is nice, but Jack is above anything Dan will ever do. Just watch Jack play guitar. He’s a mad man. Soo much more talent in every way.

      • mercy says:

        I don’t hear the Muscle Shoals sound particularly in Icky Thump, but maybe that’s just me. Somehow I don’t think the Alabama music community would’ve minded if he chose to make it his home and start his business there instead of Nashville.

        It must be relatively easy to get the Keys sound because I’ve mistaken quite a few bands (and commercials) for them in recent years. I saw them live several times early in their career. Solid band, catchy songs, but nothing that special. Jack has a far more interesting and charismatic voice, sound, and stage presence, imo.

        He’s used far from state-of-the-art equipment and played with a drummer with no formal experience or training, with no other musicians to support them. If anything, I would think that makes his sound seem more accessible to the average person.

        I think his problem with Auerbach stems in part from ego, but I don’t think that’s where it began, or where it ends. The Keys did seem pretty intent on aping and cashing in on the success of the Stripes, and then dismissing them when called on it. There are people who knew them when who have attested to that, and Auerbach’s own considerable ego. Auerbach moved the band to Nashville and set up shop after Jack’s success there, and is rumoured to have courted artists, and gone after rare/vintage studio equipment, after he knew Jack was interested. Rumour has it an artist did not show up for their scheduled session at Third Man after Auerbach ran into him and told him to come work his studio instead and that was the final straw / confirmed to Jack who he was dealing with. Jack has a friend and bandmate (Dead Weather drummer Patrick Keeler) who was friends with Auerbach when he first came to town, and his ex was close to Carney’s wife even before they split so perhaps he has good sources on what Auerbach was up to. 😉

    • JWQ says:

      I didn’ t hate their music, but I have never found them particularly awesome either. They are treated like some sort of groundbreaking musicians… the one event that happens once in a hundred years… they were average to me, and didn’ t exactly bring anything new or amazing to the musical scene! oh well…

    • Heather says:

      Meg is a terrible drummer.

  17. GIRLFACE says:

    Huge crush on Jack White since I was a teenager and saw him on TV in high school. He gives great interviews and is doing some amazing things for the music industry. I love what he does with his label and vinyl. Awesome guy. He has said similar things in interviews before. He gives great, personal interviews and he just tells it like it is. I think he really loved the White Stripes and to him that was the epitome of fun and inspiring. I also think Meg and him have something real deep. If you watch that clip from their documentary where he’s playing her a song on the piano and she starts crying it’s pretty heavy stuff. I get frustrated with shy people myself so I can’t imagine living with one/giving interviews day in and day out/trying to have a band with one. I’m sure there’s lots of issues there. Sometimes I feel like people are “shy” when actually they are emotionally needy and want people to fawn over them and tend to them so they can maintain some nonexistent upper hand. It can be a very frustrating and annoying character trait.

    • KB says:

      Lol shy people would hate being fawned over. It’s not some passive aggressive character trait. Strong personalities are often intimidating to them. Trust me, they don’t feel like they hold any power with that dynamic.

      • GIRLFACE says:

        Maybe. I just can’t understand it and dated a guy who I feel like was passive aggressively shy and it was maddening.

      • JWQ says:

        agreed… most of us would prefer not being seen at all, and being fawned over is not only stressful but also irritating, especially if it comes from someone we know and who should know that leaving us alone is what we want. THAT is an annoying character trait, no one is forcing you to fawn over some shy person whether you think they genuinely are or they are passive aggressive, but we are forced to listen to people who think that giving us attention is the best way to make use less shy… and when/if we stand for ourselves and tell them to stop, we are the ones who are considered hysteric jerks! If a seemingly shy person is mindblowingly happy with someone else paying too-strong-attention to them, they are not shy, they are probably faking because they think they look cute and adorable by doing so!

    • Bobo says:

      Wow, talk about completely misunderstanding people who are different from you. Ugh.

    • MarBear says:

      As someone who used to be a very shy child I totally disagree with you. I never wanted people to “fawn” over me…in fact I hated having to much attention focused on me and yes I can agree that shy people at times can be a little hard. when I was younger I wanted my own space and time to be on my own but I also wanted my friends to care enough that they wouldn’t give up on me. People often misunderstand a shy person’s silence….They assume it’s because they don’t care when in actuality they care so much but they don’t want to make themselves vulnerable.

    • Lauren says:


      Shyness and Social Anxiety are not the same thing at all. It annoys me when people say that they are. I have been attending a Social Anxiety support group as part of my process for recovery with many things I am trying to change. The Doctor in charge can’t stress this enough to myself and the others in the group that SA goes beyond normal timid shyness. People with Social Anxiety or shyness don’t want people fawning over us either. In fact the last thing we want is to be focused on. I know it is frustrating for other people who don’t have the issue but people with SA often are too internally focused, constantly worrying about everything into relation to the self rather than looking at people and surroundings in an external matter and realizing that people aren’t focused on your perceived screw ups 24/7.

      A lot of the times people with SA are nice people too. It is just hard expressing ourselves and because we are often afraid to interact or show lots of emotions people perceive this as being snobby. But believe me we don’t feel like we have the upper hand in relationships. I myself often feel unreasonably unsure about relationships and rather powerless in trying to gain connections with some people.

    • msw says:

      Why would you assume that? Usually introverts (or, “shy people”) just want to be left alone. That’s why they are introverts. A lot of extroverted people seem to think this way, and I don’t get it. Introversion isn’t about manipulating other people; in fact, its not actually about you, at all. I have to say I get frustrated with extroverted people thinking I’m just annoying or upset with them when they’re up in my space and all I want to do is not talk because its exhausting; I don’t exist for someone else’s entertainment.

      I don’t think this is a case of shyness or introversion, anyway, but social anxiety, which is not the same thing. I have treated a lot of extroverted people with them.

      • GIRLFACE says:

        (I referenced an isolated personal experience) I have no idea what motivates all shy all the time obviously. I know some people are just quiet but good grief if you’ve ever seen Meg White in an interview, it’s downright painful. She barely speaks above an audible whisper if she does speak at all. I’m an introvert too? I just meant I can see why being in a band with someone who literally doesn’t talk would cause issues and that was my original point. (White Stripes break up)

  18. maggiegrace says:

    I love Jack White. He’s got a rock and roll voice second only to Robert Plant at his peak, IMO.

  19. Kaylen says:

    They have such a complicated relationship. Everybody should watch their Documentary.

    He misses her a lot. He’ll never have anything as organic as that again, and he knows it. He said not long ago that he would record a Stripes album that day if Meg wanted to.

  20. Ramona Q. says:

    Thank you for covering a J.W. story, Bedhead.

  21. Alyce says:

    I’m a HUGE White Stripes fan! One of my great regrets in life is that I never got to see them perform live. I think some of his other stuff is good too – Dead Weather especially. Anyhow, I’m in agreement with most everyone that he’d start the band up this second if Meg would.

  22. Boxy Lady says:

    I totally want to read that Barry Gibb story that’s on the cover! Barry worked with his three younger brothers in music and now he’s the only one of the four who is still alive. In comparison, Jack White sounds like a whiner when he says his ex-wife and former bandmate won’t talk to him.

  23. Jayna says:

    Ah, this makes me miss them. Maybe a reunion some day and an album together. Just a one-off project, no pressure for her to do anything permanently with him.

  24. Karen says:

    Jack is my number one, always. He’s prone to bitchery, but the guy has done some awesomely charitable things. Love the Stripes, love the Racs, the Dead Weather is interesting. Can’t wait for Lazaretto, Blunderbuss is fantastic. So happy to see a story about him here !

  25. Ginger says:

    I think Jack is a musical genius but I never liked the White Stripes mainly because I could not stand Meg’s drumming AT. ALL. She sounded like someone still taking lessons. However she is a gorgeous girl and I would agree that she brought something to the duo even if it was just as a counterpoint to Jack. I just wish she left her drum kit at home.

  26. john eberly says:

    Was just listening to The White Stripes album tonight! Still amazing chemistry between those two shines right through every song. Tres Sympatico.

  27. john eberly says:

    Was just listening to The White Stripes album tonight! Amazing chemistry between those two shines right through every song. Tres Sympatico.

  28. john eberly says:

    whoops. thought it said I could edit!

  29. tealily says:

    She sounds humble. He… does not.

  30. Tara says:

    Sometimes people want constant high fives. That’s exhausting.

    • Delta Juliet says:

      Yup. I live with one. Asking for, or expecting, praise kind of defeats the purpose.

  31. jjjessica says:

    if you’ve ever seen Jack White in concert you know he does not need Meg. He plays all the White Stripes songs and it’s him you see up there, you don’t pine for Meg, you’ve got an amazing performer right in front of you!

  32. shan says:

    how bout she is the coolest bitch on earth?