Friday, February 4, 2011

We're Still Going To Be Friends

Six studio albums and countless mindblowing singles later, the famous guitar and drum duo, ex-husband and wife, and 21st century rock royals known as The White Stripes have disbanded. Meg and Jack White - a strange and brilliant musical pairing - are no more.

Since their inception in 1997, these two mysterious musicians began slowly giving the music industry and what it was willing to offer a run for its money. The thrashy, messy combination of Meg White's beginner drumming and Jack White's superior guitar skills and whining alternative vocals crashed hard into the garage rock revival scene in the early millenium. Their minimalistic style and the fact that nobody could figure out who these kids were, whether they were related, lovers or martians of sort, caused everyone to scratch their heads and immediately make up their mind - they either loved them or hated them.

I, personally, felt love at first fuzzy guitar chord. I very clearly remember being 13 years-old and perched at home, watching a normal weekend marathon of music videos, countdowns, and Pop-Up Videos (surely those were still around then), when the video for "Fell in Love With A Girl" came on. I was a little thrown back by the hasty early-punk sound and blinding Lego-themed video, but without skipping a beat, I was bobbing in my seat to the catchy two-minute tune. Right away I introduced them to my brother, who normally had very progressive taste in music, but was not thrilled. I think the entire package came as a shock - the hurried composition, the simplistic instruments, Jack's early reluctance to step on the pedal and create that craved bass guitar sound. But I, on the other hand, was raving wildly: "Hotel Yorba! We're Going to Be Friends! Dead Leaves in the Dirty Ground! Come on!"

I was head over heels for these dorky rockers and before long he learned to appreciate the purity and genius in their uncomplicated talent - actually becoming a bigger and more devoted fan than me.

Needless to say, songs like "Hello Operator", "Seven Nation Army" (that famous opening riff and outstanding music video will live on forever), "Hardest Button to Button", "Blue Orchid" and the kick-ass cover of Brendan Benson's "Good to Me" were essential components of my youth and forming my opinion on the rock music of my time. I don't think I'm yet old enough to have experienced any of my favourite bands parting ways, but I have to say, it's a bit of an empty feeling when you lose a musical team or concept that was dear to you. Either way, their outrageous rock innovation and piping hot footprint on the industry will be missed and always remembered. And when we feel a little lonely without our favourite two stripes - we can look forward to the other revolutionary projects which they will inevitably feed us in years to come.


"The reason is not due to artistic differences or lack of wanting to continue, nor any health issues as both Meg and Jack are feeling fine and in good health," the statement reads. "It is for a myriad of reasons, but mostly to preserve what is beautiful and special about the band and have it stay that way.

The White Stripes do not belong to Meg and Jack anymore. The White Stripes belong to you now and you can do with it whatever you want. The beauty of art and music is that it can last forever if people want it to. Thank you for sharing this experience. Your involvement will never be lost on any of us and we are truly grateful."

- Jack and Meg White's disbanding statement

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