I have a lot to say about Jack White. I’ll try not to spend all day on this!
First of all, I knew the guy back in the day. Jack was known as John back then but I will continue to use the name Jack for the sake of simplicity. He and I went to both the same grade school and high school. I was one grade ahead of him. I didn’t know him in grade school. We met in High school.
The grade school was actually part of a Catholic Church complex called Holy Redeemer. Jack appeared in a movie that was filmed on location. He played an alter boy in Rosary Murders in part because he was an alter boy in real life.
About one hundred members of the church community were invited to play church goers as extras. I got to be part of that crowd. Filming was a lot of fun. I was way in the back so you won’t see me in the movie.
Just like Jack, I had considered going to seminary school in Wisconsin but ultimately decided to go to public high school. We both ended up at Cass Technical in Detroit. I first met him in his second or third year. I wasn’t cool enough to get invited to watch his band practice but some mutual friends got to see them.
I remember asking Jack if his band could play at an environmentalist demonstration. He said maybe, but the band didn’t show up. I also remember asking him if he liked the new classic rock radio station, WCSX. He told me that he liked it but they played “Oye Como Va” by Santana way too often. I agreed but yeah, good song.
After high school, I went off to Michigan State and Jack went to work as a furniture repairman. While still in college, I tried to do what Jack ended up doing. I recorded music and tried to start a corporation, that is, a record label and promotions business. It went nowhere fast. I had naive dreams. Jack has the real talent to do it, obviously. I admire him.
We play “Corporation” on the air all the time because it is a bit odd. It reminds me of the excitement a child feels when the ice cream truck shows up on your street. The more serious meaning of the lyrics though strikes a chord with me personally. I own this track on vinyl. I purchased the LP Boarding House Reach at Third Man Records in Detroit.
I wish I could say I took the photo below but I found it in this very cool article on TapeOp about his record pressing plant.
What is your favorite Jack White track? Have you met him? Tell us your Jack White story in the comments.
Thanks for sharing your story. My brother taught at Holy Redeemer and met his wife Dominic John Davis’s mom. Small world.