Jack White Black Keys Feud
For almost a decade, Jack White and the Black Keys were involved in a pretty nasty feud. Rock N’ Roll True Stories video for it is down below
This is one of the more recent feuds in the rock n’ roll world between the genre’s most popular artists. I’m talking about the Jack White and Black Keys feud, but did they ever make amends, stay tuned to find out.
Formed in 2001 the Black Keys broke through nationally, with 2003’s Thickfreakness, which saw them garner rave reviews and open for Beck. The same year Jack White’s band the White Stripes had their own mammoth album called Elephant featuring the huge song seven nation army. Both bands were stripped down bluesy duos so comparisons were inevitable. What’s funny is that at this point in time the black keys claimed to have not heard of the white stripes when they first started as a band several years prior. Following the dissolution of The White Stripes in 2009 the Black Keys would become a dominant band taking over the rock charts.
The feud started back in 2010 when Jack white sat down with rolling stone magazine and the exchange went as follows with interviewer asking
There was a time this past decade when the idea of “garage rock” included bands that sounded nothing like the White Stripes. Do you feel like you have peers out there now that aren’t necessarily doing the same kind of music, but work on the same level?
It’s difficult to say. I feel like I’m a lot more to do with Jay-Z than I do with the Black Keys. And I don’t know what that is, it’s just a feeling. he’d say and he wouldn’t elaborate any further on the black keys in that interview.
Two years after that statement by white the black keys were interviewed by Rolling Stone magazine and an incident from 2012 was revealed where White had allegedly barred Black Keys frontman and guitarist Dan Auberach from entering Jack White’s nashville recording studio. The black keys frontman didn’t want to add fuel to the fire, but when the magazine reached out to Jack White for comment he had an odd response saying Anything you’ve ever heard anyone say about me is 100 percent accurate.”
The following year is where things really took a bizarre turn as White was involved in a nasty divorce with his ex-wife model Karen Elson. Elson filed a restraining order against White following allegations of harassment and soon enough leaked emails that Elson used in court to file her restraining order against White made numerous references to the Black Keys. Those emails would show how infuriated White was when he learned his children were attending the same school as the children of Keys frontman Dan Auerbach. One of the messages would read “That’s a possible twelve fing years I’m going to have to be sitting in kids chairs next to that a****** with other people trying to lump us in together, “He gets yet another free reign to follow me around and copy me and push himself into my world” the email would read.
The Black Keys took the high road as in 2014, when the band’s drummer Patrick Carney struck a more sympathetic tone telling Rollin Stone Magazine,”As fed up as that is, that was a private conversation. We’ve all said real messed up stuff in private. You know how horrifying it would be if all of our private stuff was aired? Divorce is hard. It should be kept private, and people go sniffing around looking for this stuff. And ultimately, it’s no one’s business. He obviously sounds like a ahole. And I actually feel embarrassed for him. But, no, I don’t hold grudges, man. I really don’t.” Auerbach meanwhile would add “I don’t know him, so it’s extra unexpected” he’d say
The same year in May of 2014 during a cover story for Rolling Stone White slammed the keys again revealing
“There are kids at school who dress like everybody else, because they don’t know what to do, and there are musicians like that too. I’ll hear TV commercials where the music’s ripping off sounds of mine, to the point I think it’s me. Half the time, it’s the Black Keys. The other half, it’s a sound-alike song because they couldn’t license one of mine. There’s a whole world that’s totally fine with the watered-down version of the original” he’d say. In the same interview he’d add:
“Some people will hear that and say, ‘Oh, Jack White thinks he’s the first person to play the blues. But certain acts open up a market for a certain style. Amy Winehouse: Did she invent white soul? Wearing a beehive? No. But she did something brand new and fresh, altogether as a package, and you see who’s in her wake, from the Duffy’s to the Lana Del Ray’s. Adele selling 20 million records? That would not have happened if Amy Winehouse was alive. The White Stripes did the same thing, and in our absence, you’re gonna find someone to fill that. And you get a band like the Black Keys, who said they never heard of the White Stripes? Sure.” In that same interview White also featured some digs at his former White stripes bandmate Meg White and he would quickly issue an apology letter where he apologized to the black keys revealing the following
“I wish the band the Black Keys all the success that they can get,” he said in the new statement. “I hope the best for their record label Nonesuch who has such a proud history in music, and in their efforts to bring the Black Keys songs to the world. I hope for massive success also for their producer and songwriter Danger Mouse and for the other musicians that their band employs.
Now things remained calm for about a year until Patrick Carney opened his mouth in 2015 claiming he had an altercation with Jack White. Now details around the incident are still unclear but the drummer claimed
He was at the Lower East Side bar the Cabin Down Below performing at a Neil Young tribute at the Bowery Ballroom. Also in attendance was Jack White and Carney would delete his initial tweets but here’s what he tweeted originally saying
“I’ve never met Jack White. Until last night. He came into a bar in Nyc I go to a lot with a few friends and tried to fight me. I don’t fight and don’t get fighting but he was mad!!! He is why I play music. The bully aholeswho made me feel like nothing. Music was a private non competitive thing. Not sure what he’s unhappy with cuz I just liked Zeppelin a lot and wanted to play guitar. Cut my pinky off and ended up being a drummer. Not the best drummer but a passionate one. But any way Jack White. A 40 year old bully tried to fight the 35 year old nerd. It might get loud but it might also get really really sad and pathetic. Jack White is basically Bill Corgan’s dumb ass zero t-shirt in human form” he’d say
The tweets of course would go viral and White released his response within the hour on social media saying “Nobody tried to fight you, Patrick. Nobody touched you or ‘bullied’ you. You were asked a question you couldn’t answer so you walked away. So quit whining to the Internet and speak face to face like a human being. End of story” the tweet would read.
Carney erased most of his tweets and and tweeted out, “Talked to Jack for an hour he’s cool. All good.” while Jack White returned the favor via Third Man’s Twitter account: “From one musician to another, you have my respect Patrick Carney.”
Things would stay silent until 2019 when the Black Keys
revealed their new single, “Lo/Hi,” White’s label, Third Man Records, sang their praises on social media saying
“More evidence that Nashville rock n roll is alive and well. Congrats on the new music, @theblackkeys!” The same year the members of the Black Keys would sing Jack White’s praises as well as his label saying
“I think it was really cool, Dan and I have known (label co-owners) Ben Blackwell and Ben Swank for almost 20 years now, and I’ve actually gotten to know Jack the last six months, a little bit…This is a big month for rock and roll in Nashville with The Raconteurs record and our record.”
and Jack White would claim it was lawyers who really escalated the feud he would say
“I respect all rock & rollers.”
“I think [the beef> was some lawyers trying to screw me over and trying to take something out of context. Patrick Carney stopped by while we were recording this Raconteurs album and let me borrow a microphone. That was cool of him.” That does it for today’s video. Thanks for watching. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below and as always if you have suggestions for future topics let me know as well.Take care.