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All White On The Night
On a fleeting visit to Dublin the legendary Jack White sat down with Hot Press' Stuart Clark to discuss his past life as an upholsterer, jamming with Bob Dylan. Jimmy Page and The Edge and going for dinner with Loretta Lynne.
Stuart Clark, 29 Oct 2009
It’s nigh on impossible to keep things secret from the online rock ‘n’ roll community, but somehow word of Jack White flying in to be presented with an Honorary Patronage by the Trinity College Philosophical Society has managed to elude the bloggers, tweeters and other hi-tech whistleblowers who delight in bringing this sort of thing to the cyberpublic’s attention.
Not that there isn’t mayhem around campus as students try to ensure that they’re among the lucky 250 who get into the Graduates’ Memorial Building to see The White Stripes/Raconteurs/Dead Weather man receive his gong and then bare his soul on stage to yours truly who’s Jeremy Paxman for the night.
Arriving a decidedly un-rock ‘n’ roll five minutes early, Jack looks super-sharp in, white buckled winklepickers aside, an all-black ensemble which one suspects is a homage to his filmic hero Orson Welles.
At 6’2” he’s as physically imposing as he is dapper-looking, and a lot leaner than he was when he first decamped to Nashville and was too frequent a visitor to all those fried chicken joints.
Asked how he is, the 34-year-old says “Kinda tired”, which is perfectly reasonable given the insane number of projects he’s been juggling this past year and a bit.
First there was the premiere in September 2008 of the documentary he stars in with Jimmy Page and The Edge, It Might Get Loud. Then he decided to build his own Third Man Records studio complex in Nashville, which since January has brought 22 shiny new bits of plastic into the world. When not pouring over architectural blueprints – most the draughtsmanship was down to him – our hero was to be found putting together new alt rock supergroup The Dead Weather; opening and then promptly closing ‘pop up’ record stores in New York and Los Angeles; and prepping the release of White Stripes rarities through his new “online subscription social network”, The Vault. And that’s just the stuff we know about.
So, all in all, Jack White is overdue a nice, relaxing sit-down…