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 has often been criticised for her drumming style.
The discourse was revived again recently when journalist Lachlan Markay tweeted: “The tragedy of the White Stripes is how great they would’ve been with a half decent drummer.
“Yeah yeah I’ve heard all the ‘but it’s a carefully crafted sound mannnn!’ 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 The Roots’ Questlove and Portishead‘s Geoff Barrow. Unknown Mortal Orchestra‘s Ruban Nielson also said “there’s no one like meg white”, and recalled that “kids would lose their mind to her drumming”.
Now, Jack White himself has stepped in to celebrate the drummer, posting a photo of Meg at her drum kit on social media yesterday (March 15) along with a poem that read: “To be born in another time, any era but our own would’ve been fine. 100 years from now, 1000 years from now, some other distant, different, time.
“One without demons, cowards and vampires out for blood, one with the positive inspiration to foster what is good.”
You can see the full post below.
Among those to offer their support to White was Karen Elson – the ex-wife of Jack White – who wrote on Twitter: “Not only is Meg White a fantastic drummer, Jack [White] also said the White Stripes would be nothing without her. To the journalist who dissed her, keep my ex husband’s ex wife name out of your f*cking 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 truly awful in every way. Petty, obnoxious, just plain wrong.”
By now you’ve probably seen an ill-advised (and since-deleted) tweet I sent out yesterday about the White Stripes and Meg White. It was an over-the-top take on TWS and White as a drummer, and was, let's face it, just truly awful in every way. Petty, obnoxious, just plain wrong.
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) March 14, 2023
“I don’t know if Meg White herself saw that tweet. I hope not, because I imagine it wouldn’t feel great to see a stranger dumping on you like that,” he added. “So to Meg White: I am sorry. Really. And to women in the music business generally, who I think are disproportionately subject to this sort of shit, I am sorry to have fed that as well. I’m really going to try to be more thoughtful in the future, both on here and off.”
In 2002, White said of the criticism around her drumming: “I appreciate other kinds of drummers who play differently, but it’s not my style or what works for this band. I get [criticism] sometimes, and I go through periods where it really bothers me. But then I think about it, and I realise that this is what is really needed for this band.”