In 2002, the White Stripes introduced themselves to a mainstream American audience via an unlikely source: the Republican politician and perpetual presidential contender Senator John McCain. They stormed the long-running NBC show, guest-hosted by McCain, with performances from White Blood Cells. The songs, if we remember correctly, were Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground and a We Are Going To Be Friends.
The videos have been removed from YouTube, but we remember Jack White looking not much different from the way he does now, albeit with more red in his costume and his sister ex-wife backing him up. It’s hard to believe it was ten years ago we first sat down to see it happen. But considering all the projects White has been involved with since then — three more Stripes albums, two Raconteurs records, a Dead Weather LP, numerous collaborations, record company ventures and movie appearances — it only seems right that it took a decade of doing things his own way. And after sharing the mic with Brendan Benson (in the Raconteurs) and playing second fiddle to Alison Mosshart (drumming for the Dead Weather), he’s back in control.
This week, White returned to SNL, hosted this time by Lindsay Lohan, to air two songs from his forthcoming album under his own name. It’s more country than anything he’s done since the collaboration with Loretta Lynn, when he produced and played on her Van Lear Rose album in 2004 (we know, that long ago). It’s also, we believe, better than anything he has ever done without Meg White. Check out the videos below: