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Jack White Claims Guinness World Records Snubbed Him, Guinness Responds

Jack White
Noel Vasquez, Getty Images

Back in 2007 while on a cross-country tour of Canada with the White Stripes,  Jack White hatched a plan that he had hoped would land the duo a Guinness World Record. During the Stripes’ stop in St. John’s, Newfoundland, they played a one-note concert and tried to have it declared the the shortest concert in the world.

But for some reason, despite performing a show that Jack says “last[ed] a millisecond” (watch footage of the gig below), Jack claims that Guinness officials failed to recognize the record — and he still seems bitter about the whole experience.

“The thing is … the Guinness book is a very elitist organization. There’s nothing scientific about what they do,” he tells Interview. “They just have an office full of people who decide what a record is and what isn’t … Most of the records in there — who has the biggest collection of salt-and-pepper shakers or whatever  – are just whatever they want them to be.”

“So with something like the shortest concert of all time, they didn’t think whatever we did was interesting enough to make it a record,” he continues. ”I don’t know why they get to decide that, but, you know, they own the book.”

But here’s where things get interesting. Following this recent report of White being upset by the apparent snub, Guinness has responded by stating that the White Stripes record was in fact reported in their 2009 edition of the book. That world record led to numerous other bands attempting to beat it, and ultimately the end of all “shortest” categories as world records.

“The nature of competing to make something the ‘shortest’ by its very nature trivializes the activity being carried out, and Guinness World Records has been forced to reject many claims of this kind,” Guinness tells NME. “As such, we have been forced to cease listing records for the shortest song, shortest poem and indeed the shortest concert.”

The organization then went on to compliment White, and invited him to try for a different record, stating that ”many of us at Guinness World Records are enormous admirers of Mr. White’s oeuvre, and we would be extremely pleased if he were to attempt any of the 40,000 records that are currently active on our database.”

Watch the White Stripes’ One-Note Concert in St. John’s, Newfoundland

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