Published May 16, 2012Jack White and his Third Man Records recently claimed the title of selling the most expensive flexi-disc ever with his balloon-launched "Freedom at 21," but as far as we're aware, that record has yet to be verified by any source other than the label itself. Well, it turns out that Jack has been gunning for the record books for some time, and once even tried to get the White Stripes recognized by the folks over at Guinness World Records.
During a recent conversation with astronaut Buzz Aldrin for Interview Magazine, Jack explained that he and Meg attempted to set a record during their 2007 tour of Canada.
"We'd done this whole tour of Canada where we played in every province, and almost every day we would do a free show," he said. "When we were in Newfoundland, the idea that I came up with at breakfast was, 'Let's play one note today. So we'll put on a show and tell people it's a free show, but we're only going to play one note.'
"I told Meg as we were getting out of the car. I said, 'Make sure you grab your cymbal -- when you hit the cymbal, grab it so that the note only lasts a millisecond.' I was thinking that afterwards we could contact the Guinness World Records people and see if we could get the record for shortest concert of all time. So we did it, but ultimately they turned us down. They would not give us the record for the shortest concert."
Funny story, right? Not according to Jack. In fact, he's still mad about the rejection.
"The Guinness book is a very elitist organization," he complained. "There's nothing scientific about what they do. They just have an office full of people who decide what is a record and what isn't. I mean, there is some stuff like Olympic records where they have a committee. But 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. I don't know why they get to decide that, but, you know, they own the book."
We understand his frustration, but Jack ought to keep on trying. Given the number of wacky inventions he unveils through Third Man, it's probably only a matter of time before he sets some sort of world record, whether intentionally or not.
Watch the entire one-note show below.