Austin Kleon posted the song Little Room by The White Stripes yesterday claiming it to be the best song ever written about artistic success.
His post reminded me of the only time I saw The White Stripes perform. In 2001, right before Fell In Love With A Girl blew up on radio and MTV, Jack and Meg performed at a tiny club here in Nashville called The End. I had been following the band since their 1999 release self-titled release and was very excited to see them live.
What I remember most was just how crowded the room was. I’d say The End, on a good day, can fit 200 people inside and this show pushed those boundaries a bit and you could barely move.
I also remember them performing their version of the Dolly Parton classic, Jolene, and being blown away about how this duo could reinvent a country classic so powerfully. The show fliers were screen printed posters of Dolly and Loretta Lynn and my wife and I grabbed one of each on the way out the door and still have them framed today.
After the band became popular, they had a gig scheduled at the Ryman but it was canceled due to Jack breaking his hand due to this fight. The band said they would reschedule but that didn’t happen.
They performed again in Nashville at a much larger club but I wasn’t able to attend so my only show for The White Stripes was that first one in Nashville, surrounded by 200 sweaty people, watching this duo play and everyone knowing we’d never see them perform in a small club ever again.
Thanks Austin for the reminder.