Jack White has responded to the recent controversy surrounding The White Stripes drummer Meg White’s playing ability.
Jack and Meg White formed the band in 1997 and went on to become one of the most successful bands of the 21st century, but the latter was often criticized for her drumming style.
The discourse was recently revived when journalist Lachlan Markay tweeted, “The tragedy of the White Stripes is how great they would have been with a half decent drummer.
“Yes yes, I already have the ‘but it’s a carefully crafted sound mannnn!’ heard. takes. I’m sorry Meg White was terrible and no band is better for having sh*tty percussion.” Markay has since deleted the tweet.
A number of musicians have defended Meg White, including Questlove of The Roots and Geoff Barrow of Portishead. Ruban Nielson of Unknown Mortal Orchestra also said “there’s nobody like meg white”, and recalled that “kids would go crazy over her drumming”.
Now Jack White himself has stepped in to celebrate the drummer by posting a photo of Meg by her drum kit on social media yesterday (March 15), along with a poem that read, “To be born in a different time, every era except ours would have been fine 100 years from now, 1,000 years from now, another distant, another time.
“One without demons, cowards and vampires out for blood, one with the positive inspiration to cherish the good.”
You can see the full message below.
Among those who supported White was Karen Elson – Jack White’s ex-wife – who wrote on Twitter: “Meg White is not only a fantastic drummer, Jack [White] also said the White Stripes would be nothing without her. To the journalist who dissed her, keep the name of my ex-husband’s ex-wife out of your mouth. (Please and thank you).”
Markay has since responded to the backlash, writing on Twitter, “It was an over the top take on TWS and White as a drummer, and was, let’s face it, just really awful in every way. Small scale, unpleasant, just downright wrong.
By now you’ve probably seen an ill-advised (and since deleted) tweet I sent yesterday about the White Stripes and Meg White. It was an over-the-top look at TWS and White as a drummer, and was, let’s face it, truly awful in every way. Petty, unpleasant, just plain wrong.
— Lachlan when (@lachlan) March 14, 2023
“I don’t know if Meg White saw that tweet herself. I hope not because I imagine it wouldn’t be nice to see a stranger dump you like that,” he added. “So to Meg White: I’m sorry. Real. And for women in the music business in general, who I think are disproportionately subject to this kind of shit, I’m sorry I fed that as well. I will really try to be more thoughtful in the future, both here and abroad.”
In 2002, White said of the criticism of her drumming, “I appreciate other types of drummers who play differently, but it’s not my style or what works for this band. I get [criticism] sometimes, and I have periods when it really bothers me. But when I think about it, I realize that this is what this band really needs.