A Working List of Every Single Thing that Jack White Dislikes


On Wednesday night, rock 'n' roll's foremost negative nancy Jack White played a show at Boston's Fenway Park. There, he said some not-nice things about Katy Perry, the Foo Fighters and Rolling Stone. You can hear White's entire rant, wonderfully, at rollingstone.com, but the gist of his beef is that Katy Perry uses a wireless microphone, the Foo Fighters have a rhythm guitarist and Rolling Stone are no-good dirty rotten clickbaiters.

This comes just months after White criticized Adele, Lana Del Rey, Duffy and the Black Keys in Rolling Stone, and about six weeks after he walked off stage at a Detroit show because the crowd was sitting down. With so much venom coming from White's corner, it can be hard to keep track of the everything he's miffed by. To organize the wrath, here's a working list (to be updated) of everything currently rubbing Jack White the wrong way, beginning with this week's additions.

1. Katy Perry

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Date of hate: September 2014

The charge: Using a wireless microphone.

The deets: At Wednesday's show, during what his publicist later confirmed was a technical difficulty, White had some words about microphones: "So many microphones up here," he said. "You know, most performers don't use microphones any more. [What? -ed] 90% of proper singers don't use microphones that have cords on them, and they don't use microphones that have regular diaphragms anymore." White's voice gets buried in cheers at this point, but he clearly mutters something about Katy Perry, suggesting she is very much about lip-synching, unlike him, a real rocker who thinks lip-synching is neither good nor cool.

2. Foo Fighters

Date of hate: September 2014

The charge: Using a rhythm guitarist.

The deets: After burning Katy Perry, White moves on to the Foo Fighters, "who'd be having the second guitar player ... playing the same parts I play, so in case I make a mistake he's still playing it for me." Same idea here, except that instead of suggesting Katy Perry uses a backtrack, he's suggesting Dave Grohl has hired a guitar-backtrack, as in Pat Smear and Chris Shiflett — who've played guitar in Foo Fighters for a collective 27 years, presumably to keep their live show from sounding thinner than industrial toilet paper — but hey, maybe to cover up some errors too.

3. Rolling Stone

Date of hate: September 2014

The charge(s): Clickbaiting, not paying to write about him, not covering the Newport Folk Festival (they have), not printing black-and-white covers (they have).

The deets: Basically, Jack White is tired of that garbage publication using his life, free of charge, to make their millions, because magazines and newspapers have tons of money and Jack White has none: 

"Something for Rolling Stone.com for tomorrow. I like to feed them something every day for their clickbait. If everyone could, in this whole stadium, please go to RollingStone.com tomorrow. They've paid me zero dollars to plug them so make sure they get at least a million mouse clicks tomorrow. That number again, Rolling Stone dot com, brought to you by the Kardashian family. Fifteen outfits that will blow your mind that Taylor Swift wore this month. Ten reasons why RollingStone.com didn't cover the Newport Folk Festival for 50 years straight. Twelve reasons Rolling Stone won't put a black-and-white cover on the cover of their magazine unless you're dead! I'm officially supposed to stop now because this is becoming a Kanye West-esque rant for RollingStone.com. Because apparently nowadays you're not 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. This is not a rant. This is just me saying, 'Hello Cleveland! Brought to you by RollingStone.com.'"

Again, you can hear that whole rant for yourself here.

4. Dan Auerbach and the Black Keys

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Date of hate: May 2014 officially, August 2013 unofficially

The charge: Ripping him off.

The deets: White's initial jab at Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach isn't really fair game; he wrote it to his ex-wife in a private email which was leaked by TMZ during court proceedings. Keys drummer Patrick Carney even acknowledged that White "sound[ed] like an asshole." But a year later, White went on the record to Rolling Stone about Auerbach with the same stance: "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 ... There's a whole world that's totally fine with the watered-down version of the original." (White has since apologized.)

5. Lana Del Rey

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Date of hate: May 2014

The charge: Ripping off Amy Winehouse.

The deets: In the same Rolling Stone passage, White somehow mocks three more musicians on the way to his point: "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 Duffys to the Lana Del Reys ... Adele selling 20 million records? That would not have happened if Amy Winehouse was alive." 

Which brings us to ...

6. Duffy

Date of hate: May 2014

The charge: Ripping off Amy Winehouse.

The deets: See item 5 (Apology)

7. Adele

Date of hate: May 2014

The charge: Ripping off Amy Winehouse.

The deets: See item 5 (Apology)

8. Baseball

Date of hate: July 2014

The charge: Too summery, too American, too hot for tie/vest/fedora combo.

The deets: During a July stop in Chicago, White headed to Wrigley Field to watch the Cubs lose, which they amazingly didn't that day. Anyway, much to the Internet's joy, Jack White was captured by the Jumbrotron looking like somebody slipped a tab of acid into his Old Style.

9. Cell phones

Date of hate: Forever

The charge: Distracting to audiences, doesn't like having things in his hands.

The deets: Jack White has railed against "fucking texting things" throughout his career. He still doesn't have one, which might explain why it's so hard for his publicist to get ahold of him and say "JACK STOP TRASH-TALKING YOUR CONTEMPORARIES IN THE PRESS ALSDKFJ;ALDKSFJ!!!" 

He also finds cell phones distracting at shows. In May, he told Rolling Stone, "People can't clap anymore, because they've got a fucking texting thing in their fucking hand, and probably a drink, too! Some musicians don't care about this stuff, but I let the crowd tell me what to do. There's no set list. I'm not just saying the same things I said in Cleveland last night. If they can't give me that energy back? Maybe I'm wasting my time." 

On that note, White also has some issues with...

10. Concert audiences

Date of hate: Since 2012 at least

The charge: Not paying enough attention to him, sitting down, texting, filming him, taking selfies, etc.

The deets: Basically, Jack White won't rock for anything less than a coke orgy. He's walked off multiple stages due to lackadaisical crowds. In 2012, he left a show at Radio City after 55 minutes, asking, "Jesus Christ, is this an NPR convention?" and did the same after eight songs in Detroit this summer. He'd even sent his road manager out before the show to ask the crowd to please not use their cell phones or sit down in the Fox Theatre's way-comfy seats. Some kids never learn. 

Also, speaking of the Fox Theatre...

11. The Fox Theatre

Paul Marotta/Getty Images

Date of hate: July 2014

The charge: Chairs too cushy, conducive to lazy Detroiter butts.

The deets: After the aforementioned debacle with the chairs and the sitting and the walking off stage, White, who is from Detroit, vowed to never play the Fox Theatre again: "This'll be the last time I play the Fox Theatre," he said. "It was a final piece of the puzzle — I saved it for a long time."

12. Jessica Misener's Atlantic article

Date of hate: May 2014

The charge: Accusing him of chauvinism

The deets: In a 2012 Atlantic article titled "Jack White's Women Problem," Jessica Misener (now of BuzzFeed) highlighted a number of White's more lady-hating lyrics, painting him as modern rock's foremost misogynist — which he responded to this summer with some fierce mansplaining: "I've worked with more women than anyone you'll ever meet," he told Rolling Stone. Referencing Lazaretto opener "Three Women," a song about digital photography, he continued: "If you know anything about me, do you think I like digital photography? No. I don't. So obviously this song is not about fucking Jack White, so fuck you! If you're that chick who wrote that article — and I say chick on purpose — she won't understand that line, because she doesn't do her research." 

Ten bucks says White turns that last bit into a hook for his next record.

13. Jason Stollsteimer's face

Date of hate: December 2003

The charge: Unclear.

The deets: Nobody ever figured out what the cause of the drama was here, but in 2003, an unprovoked Jack White beat up Jason Stollsteimer of the Von Bondies, badly, at the Magic Stick in Detroit. White ended up pleading guilty to assault and battery, and freaked out a bunch of his tween fans.

14. Meg White

Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Date of hate: May 2014

The charge: Harshing on his buzz.

The deets: In other not-so-good things White said during that Rolling Stone interview (seriously, were they pumping him with moonshine?), White used a sports metaphor to describe his relationship with ex-Stripes drummer Meg White, calling her "one of those people who won't high-five me when I get the touchdown." 

Bummer, dude.

15. Monogamy

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Date of hate: April 2012

The charge: It's for squares, baby.

The deets: In a 2012 New York Times Magazine profile, White pulled out every rockstar stereotype in the book and told Josh Eells he "always felt it's ridiculous to say, of any of the females in my life: You're my friend, you're my wife, you're my girlfriend, you're my co-worker. This is your box, and you're not allowed to stray outside of it ... I gave [monogamy] up a long time ago. Those rules don't apply anymore." 

On that note ...

16. Karen Elson

Date of hate: August 2013, at least legally

The charge: Grown-up problems.

The deets: White and ex-wife/co-parent Karen Elson's 2011 divorce seemed pretty tidy at first (the couple even threw a divorce party, which is apparently a thing). But in 2013, Elson filed a restraining order against White, which, without prying, indicates some beef afoot. There are also those private/leaked emails floating around, if you're feeling smarmy.

17. Ryan Adams

Date of hate: December 2002

The charge: Changing his lyrics.

The deets: This pissing-match is so old and tired it begs to be omitted, but it proves there's somebody nuttier than White. Basically, scraggly guitar-dude Ryan Adams covered some of scraggly guitar-dude Jack White's songs on tour, but dickied a few of his lyrics. Scraggly guitar-dude Jack White caught wind of this and got upset. Then scraggly guitar-dude Ryan Adams caught wind of that and WENT UTTERLY INSANE ON SOME POOR NME REPORTER:

"Did little girl White talk back? What a fucking movie star. I don't have a problem with him — he started it. I know that's what you say in school. But what's he doing on the Internet saying 'I see you changed my lyrics?' Fucking ponce. I mean, shit — I get to shop at 40 or 50 more stores for clothes than that guy does. Think of the limitations. Just buy him a gallon of red paint. I don't fucking get it. Whatever. I don't have a problem with him. Good luck to him in Romania. It's supposed to be freezing. He must be hating it. You know they asked me if I wanted to do that movie role [Cold Mountain] and I turned it down. [Director] Anthony Minghella asked me first. I was up for the part and I turned it down. You know why? Because I didn't see acting anywhere on my job application to be a rock fucking star, you know. It's true. That's fucking fact. I turned it down because we were touring anyway. I was wanting to tour and do this acoustic thing. And they said 'Well, you can come to Romania and we'll pay you anyway and you can have three or four lines and you get to play a banjo made out of a pumpkin.' I'm like 'Fuck you man.' I make that money in two gigs. Put it this way — it didn't seem that much to me. And it's three fucking lines. Three lines in a two-and-a-half hour film. I'd rather get a gun and blow my eyeball out. And you got to go freeze your ass off. You do get to hang out with Nicole Kidman, which isn't bad. But it's not like she'd be going 'So tell me about your life'. She's fucking Nicole Kidman."

We'll give Jack the W on this one.

18. Lady Gaga

Mathieu Roy/STAR MAX/IPx/AP

Date of hate: December 2012

The charge: Just not being real enough.

The deets: In a 2012 profile in Esquire's style section, White called Lady Gaga "all artifice." That's right: Jack White, leader of the White Stripes, whose black/white/red color scheme was so carefully curated he turned down a record deal because he'd have to put the label's green logo on his CD spine, criticized Lady Gaga's image-building in a magazine's style section. "It's all image with no meaning behind it. You can't sink your teeth into it. It's a sound-bite. It's very of this age, because that's what people want. They want a Twitter line, a gif, a jpeg, an MP3." 

And before White can finish that beef, he's onto the next, and last (for now), one:

19. Twitter

Date of hate: December 2012, but also probably since the dawn of time

The charge: Not enough jokes, Gore Vidal narrating his dish-washing, everything else.

The deets: Surprise! Jack White doesn't like Twitter. Picking up from where we left off in that Esquire profile: 

"Twitter is the most perfect example of modern living. It's very interesting. You know, just a side opinion about Twitter: I think the only people who should have [Twitter accounts] are comedians. Because it's all about one-liners. I would love it if Conan O'Brien or Reggie Watts or Stephen Colbert were to walk into a room and tell me one joke and leave. But you don't want Gore Vidal telling you 'I'm doing my dishes right now.'" 

No, Jack. No we don't.

Did we miss any objects of Jack White's fury? Has he verbally abused you or someone you love? If so, tweet us here or email us here. We can help.