Jack White: ‘I don’t like feeding off the past’

The Third Man Records boss spoke about his 'retro' reputation

Jack White has spoken out about his ‘retro’ image, commenting: “I don’t like feeding off the past. I don’t live in a hopeless notion that amplifiers or records were better in the ’60s.”

Speaking to Billboard, the musician and head of Third Man Records explained that he was a fan of CDs despite his label’s commitment to releasing music in an analogue format.

“It’s portable, it still has the artwork and lyrics, and it sounds really good,” he said of CDs. “And you can turn it up really loud.” He added: “Digital in the car, vinyl in the bedroom. Because I like to listen to music in the car really loud.” However, he commented that neither his car nor laptop have CD players. “I miss actually having the thing. But when you respect music, it doesn’t matter how we’re getting it.”

Earlier it was revealed that White will reissue the acetate of Elvis Presley’s first ever record after explaining he was the mystery buyer behind the $300,000 (£197,000) sale of the record at an auction in January. When the 1953 vinyl record – which features the ballads ‘My Happiness’ and ‘That’s When Your Heartaches Begin’ – was first auctioned, it was expected to fetch about a $100,000 (£65,000). It was later announced that an unknown internet bidder, now known to be White, had bought the record with a $300,000 bid.

White will release the record on vinyl for Record Store Day on April 18. Presley recorded ‘My Happiness’ in 1953 when he was just 18 at Sun Records, the Memphis studio operated by Sam Phillips. It is said that after the recording, which cost Presley $4, the singer left the studio and went to the home of friend Ed Leek to listen to it as his family didn’t have a record player.

Presley ended up leaving the record behind, and it remained in Leek and later his niece’s possession until she contacted Graceland – Presley’s former home – and it was offered for auction.

Record Store Day was conceived nine years ago in the US and was brought to the UK a year later. Exclusive vinyl is made available on the day and many stores put on live shows to mark the occasion. Last month, Dave Grohl was crowned the official ambassador of Record Store Day 2015.