Jack White has responded to journalist Lachlan Markay calling White Stripes drummer Meg White “terrible” in a now-deleted tweet that sparked a major backlash and discourse this week. Posting to Instagram, Jack White shared a picture of Meg mid-performance and a poem appearing to liken Markay (and any other Meg White naysayer) to “demons, cowards and vampires out for blood.”
Here is White’s full statement:
To be born in another time,
any era but our own would’ve been fine.
100 years from now,
1000 years from now,
some other distant, different, time.
one without demons, cowards and vampires out for blood,
one with the positive inspiration to foster what is good.
an empty field where no tall red poppies are cut down,
where we could lay all day, every day, on the warm and subtle ground,
and know just what to say and what to play to conjure our own sounds.
and be one with the others all around us,
and even still the ones who came before,
and help ourselves to all their love,
and pass it on again once more.
to have bliss upon bliss upon bliss,
to be without fear, negativity or pain,
and to get up every morning, and be happy to do it all again.
This whole thing started when Markay tweeted (and deleted) “The tragedy of The White Stripes is how great they would have been with a half decent drummer” followed by “Yeah, yeah I’ve heard all the ‘but it’s a carefully crafted sound mannnn!’ takes. I’m sorry Meg White was terrible and no band is better for having shitty percussion.”
Since then, many high-profile figures have jumped to White’s defense. Questlove said: “I try to leave ‘troll views’ alone but this right here is out of line af. Actually what is wrong w music is people choking the life out of music like an Instagram filter—trying to reach a high of music perfection that doesn’t even serve the song (or music).”
Jack White‘s ex-wife Karen Elson also commented: “Not only is Meg White a fantastic drummer, Jack [White] also said the White Stripes would be nothing without her. To the journalist who dissed her, keep my ex husband’s ex wife name out of your f*cking mouth. (Please and Thank You)”
Today, Markay himself walked his initial comment back. “By now you’ve probably seen an ill-advised (and since-deleted) tweet I sent out yesterday about the White Stripes and Meg White,” he said on Twitter. “It was an over-the-top take on TWS and White as a drummer, and was, let’s face it, just truly awful in every way. Petty, obnoxious, just plain wrong.”
He added: “I don’t know if Meg White herself saw that tweet. I hope not, because I imagine it wouldn’t feel great to see a stranger dumping on you like that. So to Meg White: I am sorry. Really. And to women in the music business generally, who I think are disproportionately subject to this sort of shit, I am sorry to have fed that as well. I’m really going to try to be more thoughtful in the future, both on here and off.
“I’ve been thinking to myself as all this—again, completely justified—hate comes in over the last 24 hours: why did I actually write that? It’s not what I really think, and I like to think I’m not the asshole it made me out to be, or at least I try not to be.
“I think the answer, in part, is that sort of vicious sniping is something that we—us online folks—tend to reward with eyes and clicks. And I think I got caught up in that implicit incentive structure with a needlessly inflammatory, downright mean, and most importantly false take.”
Jack White’s comment is below.