Published May 07, 2012Over the past decade-plus, Jack White has gone from colour-coded garage rock upstart to the multitalented music mogul behind the eclectic Third Man Records. After numerous bands and collaborative projects, the songwriter recently made his long-awaited solo debut with Blunderbuss, out now on Third Man/Columbia/XL.
To give you the story leading up to this hotly anticipated album, we spoke with the man himself for an in-depth Timeline piece. Here is only a taste of what you'll find in the full-length feature story.
Five Noteworthy Facts You May Not Know About Jack White.
1. Jack White was raised Catholic and almost attended a divinity school.
Born John Anthony Gillis, the musician's parents both have prominent positions in their parish, leading John to become an altar boy. He even appears as one in the 1987 Donald Sutherland film The Rosary Murders, shot at his century-old church. His religious devotion lands him an acceptance at a Wisconsin seminary, but he chooses instead to attend Cass Technical High School.
2. Jack White got his start as a drummer.
He lands his first real gig playing drums for alt-country band Goober & the Peas. He adopts the name Jack "Doc" Gillis, and draws attention when he's allowed to perform an Elvis Presley song during encores.
3. Jack's marriage to Meg White crumbled due to the singer's artistic drive.
Jack's intense determination to achieve his goals puts a tremendous strain on Meg, causing her to leave him almost immediately after the album is finished. While this effectively ends their marriage -- their divorce is finalized on March 24, 2000 -- Meg's newfound musical passion cannot be diminished. They reconcile in time to play a festival organized by Detroit alternative weekly Metro Times, and from then on Meg quietly takes on a more prominent role, forcing Jack to make the White Stripes his primary focus.
4. Jack White married model Karen Elson in a shamanistic ceremony.
Floria Sigismundi is hired to do the video for "Blue Orchid," bringing in British model Karen Elson to appear in it. Jack and Karen immediately connect, and are married June 1 in a shamanistic ceremony on the Amazon river. Meg serves as Karen's maid of honour.
5. The Dead Weather were plagued by rumours of an inter-band brawl.
A video for the album's first single, "Treat Me Like Your Mother," shows White and Mosshart firing automatic weapons at each other. It seems a tongue-in-cheek response to Britain's Sun tabloid reporting in May that the two had gotten into a drunken fistfight in New York.