Letting go of the past and looking toward the future can sometimes be a really tough thing to do. I know because I’ve been doing a lot of that recently. As I get older I see how important it is that we keep moving, keep changing, and not let fear or familiarity prevent us from doing something new and exciting. When you’ve had special times in your life — days, months, even years of happy moments, events, or milestones — you tend to put them up on this pedestal. Some of us like to think fondly upon those times as “the good ol’ days,” and I think, “man, it just doesn’t get any better than that!”
And there’s nothing wrong with remembering things as they were, as long as your can accept that part of looking at the past is just that — reminiscing at something that once was, but is no longer.
To me, the end of The White Stripes — a band I’ve both loved and admired for nearly ten years — is of course bittersweet. I think I speak for a lot of fans when I say that I am sad to see Jack and Meg announce the end of their remarkable run as one of the greatest American rock ‘n’ roll bands ever to exist, but I understand why they would want to call an end to the band. I’d rather have them go out on their own terms, while they’re still on top, rather than see them produce albums that their hearts weren’t into doing 100%.
These two kids produced six albums worth of some truly amazing music. I remember in the early 2000s I would literally listen to White Stripes songs over and over and over every waking hour of the day. The simplicity, the power, the raw energy of their tunes would take me to another place. I would pour over bootleg and live recordings, imagining myself there in the crowd.
When I listen to their early recordings I always get shivers down my spine and my heart thumps just a little faster. When I think of my favorite White Stripes songs like “The Big Three Killed My Baby,” “Expecting,” “Now Mary,” I can actually feel my body enliven itself. Over the last 10 years or so that I’ve been a fan, the White Stripes’ music has given me so much joy — I know that seems really very sappy, but it’s absolutely and honestly true.
I’ve also had so many happy memories from the many times I’ve seen Jack and Meg live. Probably my favorite show was when they did a free show on October 1, 2002 at Union Square Park here in New York City.
Here’s what I had to say at the time:
THE BIG THREE KILLED MY BABY!!!!!!
THEY PULLED THE PLUG AT 1 O’CLOCK, AT THE START OF “BOLL WEEVIL”, BUT JACK KEPT SINGING. THEN HE TOLD EVERYONE TO BE QUIET, AND SANG A TRUNCATED VERSION OF THE SONG TO THE CROWD W/OUT A MIC. THEN EVERYONE CHEERED. THEN EVERYONE BOOED NISSAN AND THE COUNTING CROWS. HOPE YOU ALL HAD FUN!
The weather was to die for today. It was like summer. It was beautiful. You were all beautiful. I love you.
And that’s how I’d like to end this post, “It was beautiful. You were all beautiful. I love you.”