Thursday, September 27, 2007


I often get asked "what inspired you to want to start a rock band?" It was a series of fortunate events. I was the P.T.A. newsletter editor for my kids' elementary school when I found out one of the kids in the Writers Club (I had a bunch of students help me put it my sons always say "Why should I have to do all the work around here?") was related to Jack White of the White Stripes. He came to the school for an interview...well here...just read the article from May 2002:

(But we do!)

Being in the school gym never felt so hip. With a day of numbers, letters, nouns and books behind them, it was time for show-and-tell with a talented young visitor not much older than the members of the Writers Club. As Jack White, 26, of the Detroit band White Stripes sang We're Going to be Friends the young writers had to agree and being a kid in school felt pretty cool.

Members of the Writers Club are used to interviewing interesting people but until last month they had never gotten the chance to interview a bona fide rock star. They got their big opportunity when music sensation Jack White arrived promptly at the school gym at 3:30 on a Friday with red and white guitar in hand.

Jack is extremely busy these days. His band is critically acclaimed around the world; White Stripes' third album White Blood Cells is named by several rock editors in their top 100 picks for 2001 and their video for Fell in Love with a Girl can be seen regularly on MTV. Having toured the UK and Ireland, most of Europe, Japan and New Zealand, the band is now in the middle of a U.S. tour that will have them headlining two shows at the Royal Oak Music Theatre on May 22 and 23. In addition, the band will be recording a new album in London, England, later this month.

With such a demanding schedule Jack still found the time to chat and sing with a group of 30 enthusiastic K -5 students. Student, Grace M., arranged the interview. Grace just happens to be Jack's niece. Grace and several members of the Writers Club stayed after school one day to make posters with big red markers (red and white are the official colors of White Stripes fans) and listen to the band's latest CD on a small boom box. A flier went home to members of the Writers Club to wear red and white on the day of the interview.

Jack passed out the lyrics to We're Going to be Friends from the band's latest CD and discussed the thought process that went into writing a song. He played several songs on his guitar and questioned the students about their own writing. He talked about his own school experiences, listened to the children talk about theirs and took questions from the group.

These are some of the things we learned about Jack. He has traveled all over the world with his band. They are in the middle of a North American tour and may possibly go to South America next. It takes him anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple of days or longer to write a song. The song I think I Smell a Rat is about bullies. Jack does not like bullies at all! His favorite number is 3. He used to have a dog but he is currently petless. He’s met some famous people but so far has never met any of the guys from *NSYNC and when asked if he liked mermaids he replied he thinks they’re great!

After the interview, Jack hung around to takepictures and sign autographs. He thanked everyone who wore his favorite color - red - and said he would like to read some of the kids' poems one day. He left the gym having made 30 new school friends. Later that evening, his band picked up a couple of Detroit Music Awards at the State Theatre in Detroit, one for Best National Album, White Blood Cells, and one for Best National Single, Hotel Yorba.

The very next day I signed up for guitar lessons. :)