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10 Things You Didn’t Know About the White Stripes

White Stripes
Scott Gries, Getty Images

You probably know that the White Stripes aren’t really siblings, even though they told everyone they were. But did you know that there’s actually a ballet out there that uses their music? It’s one of 10 Things You Didn’t Know About the White Stripes.

Bruno Vincent
Bruno Vincent

Jack White’s First Band Was Called Goober & the Peas



Before he hooked up with Meg White, Jack White (still going by his birth name of Jack Gillis) played drums in an early-’90s Detroit band called Goober & the Peas that specialized in cowpunk.


Scott Gries, Getty Images
Scott Gries, Getty Images

Meg’s Last Name Is Really White



Even though it seems like it’s part of the band’s color-coded image, White is Meg’s real last name. When Jack married her in 1996, the former Jack Gillis took her surname and became a White too.


White Stripes White Blood Cells

Their Breakthrough Album Was Recorded in Less Than a Week



‘White Blood Cells,’ the duo’s third album and the first to hit the charts, was recorded in about four days in a Memphis studio in early 2001. Jack White wanted everything rushed to emphasize the music’s urgency.


Jeff Gentner, Getty Images
Jeff Gentner, Getty Images

Meg White Never Took a Drum Lesson



Meg takes a lot of crap for her, um, very primal style of drumming. But for the White Stripes’ bluesy garage rock, it’s perfect. Surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly, she’s never had a single lesson.


Loretta Lynn Van Lear Rose

Jack White Won a Country Music Grammy



Jack White produced country legend Loretta Lynn’s excellent 2004 album ‘Van Lear Rose.’ He also plays guitar throughout the album and duets with Lynn on ‘Portland, Oregon,’ which won a couple of Grammys.


Electric Six Danger High Voltage

That’s Jack White Singing the Hook on ‘Danger! High Voltage’



White performs the electrifying vocal hook on Detroit buddies Electric Six’s 2003 indie hit ‘Danger! High Voltage,’ even though the band and White both claimed it was a local car mechanic singing the line.


Matt Kent, Getty Images
Matt Kent, Getty Images

There’s a Ballet Scored to Their Songs



In 2007, choreographer Wayne McGregor staged a ballet called ‘Chroma’ based on three White Stripes songs, including ‘Blue Orchid.’ The award-winning piece was performed by London’s the Royal Ballet.


Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Jack White Played Elvis Onscreen



White played the King in the 2007 comedy ‘Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.’ It’s a small but memorable role — way better than the one he played in the 2003 Civil War drama ‘Cold Mountain.’


White Stripes Elephant

There Are Six Different Covers for ‘Elephant’



The Stripes’ 2003 album was issued with six different covers, all variations on Jack and Meg sitting on an amp. The covers varied depending where in the world you bought it and in which format.


Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

Their Final Performance Was on Conan O’Brien’s Last Show for NBC



The duo’s last live appearance was on the final episode of ‘Late Night With Conan O’Brien’ in 2009. It was their first performance together since 2007. In 2011, the White Stripes officially broke up.


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