Jack White

by Tally from Toronto


On July 9, 1974, a boy by the name John Anthony Gillis was born and would later go on to change music history. Commonly known as Jack White, Gillis is currently a member of three very successful rock/blues bands (The White Stripes, The Raconteurs/Saboteurs, and The Dead Weather) and is the founder of Third Man Records, a growing record label out of Nashville, Tennessee. Jack was co-writer of the 2008 James Bond movie theme song, Quantum of Solace, pairing up with pop singer Alicia Keys, and has recently joined one of the most famous hip-hop artists of all-time, Jay-Z, to record a song. My hero is Jack White.

Jack began his music career at age 6, originally playing drums. He got into guitar at around age 15, when he joined a band with long time friend Brian Muldoon. Muldoon could play drums so Jack decided he would play guitar. They called themselves The Upholsterers, as both were working at an upholstery shop at the time.

From there, Jack went on to what would become his most successful band, The White Stripes. After getting married in 1996 to a bartender Meg White, Jack took Meg’s last name instead of the other way around. Later in their marriage, Meg began playing the drums, and that year The White Stripes were born. The band released 6 full albums in just 8 years, with three of them going Gold in the US and two in the UK. Currently the band is on a hiatus, but there have been rumors of late that the duo will be back in the studio within a short while. In between White Stripes albums, Jack formed his second main project, The Raconteurs (known as the Saboteurs in some places). Forming in 2005 with members Brendan Benson, Jack Lawrence, Patrick Keeler, and of course Jack White, they released two albums in a span of two years, with one going Gold and one Platinum on the UK music charts. Their most popular single, Steady as She Goes was nominated for Best Rock Performance by a Group at the Grammy Awards in 2007.

Once both the White Stripes and the Raconteurs were on breaks in their tours, Jack managed to form another revolutionary band. Breaking out of his alternative and blues shell, the Dead Weather is by far Jack’s heaviest, darkest group to date. With members, Alison Mosshart (The Kills), Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age), and Jack Lawrence (The Raconteurs). This band was a nice change for Jack, as it was his first time being the drummer rather than the lead guitarist. The super group formed in 2009 and by 2010 they have already released two albums and are still together and touring.

In between Jack’s time as one of the most successful musicians of all-time, he also managed to form a record company in 2002, naming it Third Man Records (after his upholstery shop where he worked prior to being a musician, Third Man Upholstery). Third Man Records is an independent label, mainly focusing on indie, blues, and alternative rock bands. The label is based in Nashville, Tennessee, where Jack currently lives, and there is the main office, a merchandise store, a recording studio, and a performance hall. All of Jack’s bands are a part of Third Man Records, with every White Stripes, Raconteurs, and Dead Weather album on the label. Working in the record industry is something I have always wanted to do as a profession, and Jack White has not only done this but made his own completely original company, as Third Man Records is one of the few record labels still releasing vinyl records and 7” inch singles. I have been wanting and trying to be a musician all of my life, ever since taking piano when I was six years old. I am currently taking bass and electric guitar, and play in a rock band. Jack White has been a constant influence on the music I play and the music I write. Being a professional musician is what I want to do when I grow up and Jack has certainly kept me following my path by constantly releasing new CD’s and forming new bands. Someday I hope to accomplish at least some of the amazing goals that Jack has completed.

Page created on 12/1/2010 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 12/1/2010 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

The MY HERO Project - For a digital image dedicated to Jack White, created by Tally