I featured The White Stripes for the first time last month, and it's probably time to properly play catch-up. So here's one from their sixth (and final) studio album, Icky Thump. It's unclear if at this point, Jack White (vocals, guitars, keyboards) and Meg White (drums) had already had their falling out or if it was about to happen, but this video, directed by Emmett Malloy and shot in front of the historical Hudson's Bay Company (the first company in North America) buildings in Iqualuit, Nunavut (Canada) shows the former couple's usual possibly-fake-angry faces and complicit smiles that, in retrospect, seem to have been part of a romantic prolonged breakup.
Jack, of course, is often quoted as saying Meg won't return his calls when inquired about a White Stripes reunion, and it's probably a shame for music as a whole, because while Jack's solo band is the best collection of musicians he's ever played with by far (no offense to The Raconteurs and Dead Weather, which I both love) and gives him a broader range of styles to explore, the confines of a two-piece really seemed to stimulate his creative juices. The third WS album (White Blood Cells) was already one of the finest creative pieces in rock history, but his songwriting just kept improving every time.
I have written songs myself that could have used someone with her touch on the drums, her unique metronomic pounding. In the 00s, there were as many mean jokes about Meg's ''lack of talent'' on the drums as there'd been about Ringo Starr in decades previous - and perhaps that's part of the reason why she won't come back - but you could always tell it was her playing that beat. Some have tried to sound like her, but they just can't cut it. It's probably partly due to Jack's obsession with vintage gear both in the studio and to play with, but a Meg beat remains a Meg beat. There are no substitutes, and right now, her absence has created a void - in my musical life, at least.