The saga continues. Jack White’s differences with the Black Keys are well-known and well-documented; White recently fired more shots during a Rolling Stone interview, only to retract some of them in a later apology.
They say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, and flattery apparently angers Jack White. In sum: the Black Keys have points in common with the White Stripes, Jack White believes those points in common are extensive enough as to be borderline plagiarism, Jack White doesn’t take kindly to that. The issue reached a head last year when TMZ managed to get their paws on a leaked email from White to his ex-wife Karen Elson in which White vehemently opposed placing his children in the same school as Dan Auerbach’s (Black Keys singer) brood.
There’s since some back and forth between White and the Black Keys, although Auerbach has reserved his most negative comments for TMZ. The most recent development came during a Rolling Stone interview of White, where he had this to say:
“There are kids at school who dress like everybody else, because they don’t know what to do, and there are musicians like that, too. I’ll hear TV commercials where the music’s ripping off sounds of mine, to the point I think it’s me. Half the time, it’s The Black Keys. The other half, it’s a sound-alike song because they couldn’t license one of mine. There’s a whole world that’s totally fine with the watered-down version of the original.”
“Some people will hear that and say ‘Oh, Jack White thinks he’s the first person to play the blues.’ But certain acts open up a market for a certain style. Amy Winehouse: Did she invent white soul? Wearing a beehive? No. But she did something brand new and fresh, altogether as a package, and you see who’s in her wake, from the Duffys to the Lana Del Reys. Adele selling 20 million records? That would not have happened if Amy Winehouse was alive. The White Stripes did the same thing, and in our absence, you’re gonna find someone to fill that. And you get a band like The Black Keys, who said they never heard of The White Stripes? Sure.”
However, White quickly reversed course on many of his statements. An apology posted on his official site clarified his original remarks – explaining that he wished the best for the Black Keys, and held no ill-will toward the long list of other artists he mentioned in the interview.