The White Stripes mainman talks to NME.COM about the car crash that forced the band to pull out of UK festival shows...

Stricken White Stripes mainman JACK WHITE has told NME.COM his finger was “destroyed” in the recent car accident which forced the band to cancel their appearance at the CARLING WEEKEND: READING AND LEEDS.

The star crashed his car on July 9, and has undergone an operation to have three metal screws in his finger to make sure the bones heal properly.

While White says his left arm is so bad he can’t even tie his shoelaces, he’s feeling lucky it wasn’t a lot worse.

He said: “This 75 to 80 year old woman drove right out in the middle of the street, right in front of us. There was nothing I could do to get away from it. It was lucky that there was nobody seriously injured.”

After getting out of the car and checking that he, his superstar girlfriend Renee Zellweger and the old lady weren’t badly hurt, Jack realised he was the one who had suffered the most serious injury – one that could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The index finger on his left hand was “destroyed”.

“I looked down and saw my finger was just destroyed. I immediately thought ‘That’s not going to be good, is it?’. It was a multiple fracture which means it didn’t actually go through the skin but it shattered inside the finger. I can’t write, I can’t play piano, I can’t play guitar, I can’t do anything creative. I can’t even tie my shoes.”

A week after the crash Jack went to hospital for a progress report, which wasn’t good. Instead of healing, the multiple breaks in Jack’s hand meant the bones were pushing apart rather than together. Doctors inserted the metal screws, which will stay inside his body for life. The additional surgery has put his recovery back weeks, making Reading and Leeds impossible.

He added: “It’s a drag. We were looking forward to being a part of it this year. Last time we did all the festivals we were humming and haring about whether it was the right form for our band, but things went really well.

“We were looking forward to this year. But unfortunately it’s not to be. We waited as long as we could to find out if it was possible.”

There is some good news – as soon as he’s better Jack wants White Stripes to return to the UK for gigs to make up for the disappointment of Reading and Leeds. There’s also talk of the band returning to the festival for a headline slot in 2004.

To read the full interview with Jack, get this week’s NME, dated August 9, on sale in all good newsagents now priced £1.60.

As reported earlier on NME.COM, the band’s US tour resumes on September 13. For the full story,

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