Monday, September 29, 2014

Why Jack White Is the Most Important Rock Star of the 21st Century

Posted By on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 3:05 AM

  • Courtesy of Jack White/Third Man Records

There's a great scene from Shine a Light, Martin Scorsese's documentary about the Rolling Stones' 2006 performance at New York's Beacon Theatre, in which Jack White joins the band to sing and play guitar on "Loving Cup," a bluesy track off 1972's Exile on Main St.

Midway through the song, White shares a mic with frontman Mick Jagger and, for a brief second, seems to get caught up in the moment, playing music with one of the most influential groups of the twentieth century -- he can't hide his this-can't-be-happening smile.

When the song ends, however, it's Jagger who appears to be in awe of the Detroit-bred musician. And that's when it hits you: Jack White may be the most important rock star of the 21st century.

Why? He's saving real, raw guitar music from extinction.

"The main things to rebel against right now -- over-production, too much technology, overthinking," White said in Guitar World Magazine editor Brad Tolinski's 2012 book Light & Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page.

"It's a spoiled mentality; everything is too easy. If you want to record a song, you can buy Pro Tools and record 400 guitar tracks. That leads to overthinking, which kills any spontaneity and the humanity of the performance."

And then there's the antithesis of artificial rock: a song like "Seven Nation Army."

Continue to page two for more.

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