Jack White has certainly had some well-publicized beefs in the past, but this major beef that started with a smack-down on the Air Force Reserve and beat its way down to a lone Salt Lake City-based 56-year-old ad and film musician named Kem Kraft.
It all started when The White Stripes took great offense to a recent Air Force Reserve advertisement that aired during the Super Bowl containing a song that sounded eerily similar to “Fell In Love with a Girl.” This prompted the band to post this statement on the Third Man Records website:
We believe our song was re-recorded and used without permission of the White Stripes, our publishers, label or management.
The White Stripes take strong insult and objection to the Air Force Reserve presenting this advertisement with the implication that we licensed one of our songs to encourage recruitment during a war that we do not support.
The White Stripes support this nation’s military, at home and during times when our country needs and depends on them. We simply don’t want to be a cog in the wheel of the current conflict, and hope for a safe and speedy return home for our troops.
We have not licensed this song to the Air Force Reserve and plan to take strong action to stop the ad containing this music.
The original song by the Stripes:
The Air Force Reserve then passed the blame over to the ad company they hired, responding with the following statement:
In response to the claims being made today regarding the Air Force Reserve regional ad that aired in select markets during the Super Bowl, the Air Force Reserve, through its advertising agency, hired Fast Forward Music of Salt Lake City to score original music for its commercial. There was never any intention to utilize any existing music or to sound like any music by the band White Stripes or any other musical performer. Any similarity or likeness to any other music is completely unintentional.
Then Fast Forward Music owner Michael Lee told EW.com that they had hired a local musician named Kem Kraft to do the music. “He created the spot. Never had I ever heard the White Stripes song before. What we thought we had was original. He claims it is original.”
Then in an interview with EW.com, Kraft took the blame for the similarity but denied that he was familiar with the original tune because, “that’s not the kind of music I listen to.”
Kraft followed up by saying he’d like to bury the hatchet with Jack White personally and reimburse him for the fee that he was paid to create the song: “I would say, ‘I’m sorry. I didn’t realize it sounded like your song. I had no intention whatsoever of copying you. If you need me to pay the money back that I made, which was 2,000 bucks, to you, I will do that if you want me to.’ This has gotten way out of proportion.”