Jack White played a show last night at Fenway Park, and not long after it started we got a text from a friend saying that he had just delivered an awkward rant against Rolling Stone among other things.
— LIVE music blog (@livemusicblog) September 18, 2014
Here’s the audio in what is actually more like a three-minute rant:
In what appears to be a full on baiting-the-media move, he just starts yapping away about what some musicians do or don’t do anymore, talking about the good ‘ol days, fits in a jab about the Foo Fighters, and then starts riffing on how sarcastically awesome Rolling Stone is and how everyone should go check out Rolling Stone dot com tomorrow and give this story a million clicks. Pretty dead-on in terms of the self-awareness on that one; a few minutes in he cuts himself off declaring his rant to be of a Kanye West varietal, and off he goes back into the rest of the show.
For my friend there at the show, this was awkward, hands down. But listening back, it comes off as even more than that: disturbingly defensive. It’s one thing to trash a magazine that gave you a huge center spread and the cover just a few months back — that’s just a classic rock and roll move, right there — but where is he finding continued inspiration in his world to cut down other musicians or other artists or even the media who’s giving him more attention than he could ever muster on his own?
I was inspired to go watch the interview Jack White gave with Dan Rather’s new web series, and in it the two craft a perfect 60 Minutes style report on what makes Jack White tick. I couldn’t help but see the scared, little boy behind the confident facade of he that is Jack White, and I’d guess you could find the moments on the tape where he comes off as the most unsure of himself.
Jack White may just be banking on his talent to carry himself through his “I can be an asshole if I want to” phase of being a rockstar and continuing to talk to media even if he’s in a decidedly pissy mood, but I’m not guessing this lasts much longer before someone slaps him upside the head and says “sometimes bad publicity is just that”.
Speaking of which, the following statement was just released by Jack’s PR team:
Dear dream-makers of the media….
Last night Jack White made a joke on stage!
There was a minor equipment mishap, specifically with his guitar, and in an effort to keep his audience engaged, he made a joke! It was meant to be funny and self deprecating: “hey sorry, you’re stuck with just me up here…” vs the Foo Fighters who have three guitar players on stage and regularly play stadium shows.
Jack has the upmost respect for the Foo Fighters and communicated with Grohl this morning.
So if you’ll let us, we’ll all continue with our day and we assure you: All is well in the rock n roll world.