Jack White has been in outspoken form lately. The former White Stripes frontman recently gave a nearly hour-long interview to veteran journalist Dan Rather. And last night during a concert at Boston’s Fenway Park, as Pitchfork points out, he took a few minutes to disparage Foo Fighters and Rolling Stone‘s website. You could say he pulled a Mark Kozelek, if only the Sun Kil Moon mastermind — who has made headlines with recent onstage trash talk — were even a fraction as well known as the Third Man Records leader.
In the audio clip below, you can hear White suggest Dave Grohl‘s band employs a “second guitar player playing the same parts,” “in case” of a “mistake.” He then self-awarely remarked, “Something for RollingStone.com for tomorrow.” This led into an extended parody of a plug for the venerable music magazine’s website, with mentions of “the Kardashian family” and “15 outfits that will blow your mind that Taylor Swift wore this month.” He also observed, correctly, that RS founder Jann Wenner owns Us Weekly.
“OK, I’m officially supposed to stop now, because this is becoming a Kanye West-esque rant,” he said after a few minutes. “Because apparently, nowadays, you aren’t allowed to speak to your own fans about anything, lest it be a rant. So forget ISIS, forget the war in the Middle East, forget any problems at home, forget gay marriage, forget everything you ever thought about everything. This not a rant. This is just me saying, hello Cleveland!” (The last bit, in case anyone is worried White forgot where he was, is, of course, a This Is Spinal Tap reference.)
The comments were an exception to a show that otherwise put the music first. The Boston Globe‘s review notes that “Although he went off on a curious tangent about RollingStone.com for a bit, White kept banter to a minimum.”
In July, White walked off the stage after only eight songs during a set at Detroit’s Fox Theatre. He eventually returned for two encores, but at one point vowed he’d never play the venue again.
Elsewhere, White recently shared the “Would You Fight for My Love?” video, with a 24-hour conception time that underscores his interest in self-imposed limits. He recently performed a two-song acoustic set in a French cathedral. And his latest solo album, this year’s Lazaretto, became the biggest-selling vinyl album of any year since Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy in 1994.
Update: White’s PR firm has released the following statement:
Dear dream-makers of the media…
Last night Jack White made a joke on stage!
There was a minor equipment mishap, specifically with his guitar, and in an effort to keep his audience engaged, he made a joke! It was meant to be funny and self deprecating: “hey sorry, you’re stuck with just me up here…” vs the Foo Fighters who have three guitar players on stage and regularly play stadium shows.
Jack has the upmost respect for the Foo Fighters and communicated with Grohl this morning.
So if you’ll let us, we’ll all continue with our day and we assure you: All is well in the rock n roll world.