Woooaahh! Chicago radio station Q101 played the entirety of the new White Stripes album, Icky Thump, on air yesterday at 2pm. At 4pm the station got a ring a ding ding from Mr. Jack White himself–long distance from Spain, where the White Stripes are currently touring. The phone call was all business, with the main objective being to give Electra, the radio DJ to did the deed, a piece of his mind–and then some. This phone call sounds like my worst nightmare.
On the one hand I understand why Electra would want to play the album for the world to hear–as a fan of the band, I too am excited about the new material. On the other hand I would NEVER go ahead and play the entire album on air without the specific consent of the White Stripes. Longtime followers of the group will know that Jack White certainly has strong opinions on 1. America 2. artist’s rights 3. the internet — and lord help the person who crosses him.
I can’t believe that the station allowed something like this to happen… can’t they get in a whole load of legal trouble for doing this? AND they have basically screwed themselves for any coverage of the White Stripes and perhaps of ALL Warner Brothers artists. I can’t think of any major label that would want to work with a DJ/station after a stunt like this! I can’t believe this DJ has not been fired yet.
I don’t want to seem like a corporate fascist or anything, but I think we can all see how much this could have been an act of passion–as any rational thinking person would think long and hard before playing an entire album before its release.
Sometimes I think Jack and the labels can be a little overzealous about hating some things (such as having Product Shop NYC shut down for linking to downloads of “Conquest” and “You Don’t Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You’re Told)” AFTER they had removed the links by request of the label !!!!), but I gotta side with the man on this one–Q101 totally effed up on this.
You can read a first-hand account of the phone call right here on Electra’s blog. Comments on her post are now disabled, so please feel free to leave your two cents about the situation right here. Thanks to J for the link.
Look, we all make mistakes–although it’s hard to believe, I would be willing to buy into the whole idea that the DJ didn’t “know any better” because sometimes people really are that clueless–but when someone is shown the wrong of their mistakes and they continue to insist that they were in the right and then NOT say “sorry” for any damage they might have done (I didn’t hear the on-air discussion but “I’m sorry” didn’t seem like that was said in the aforementioned blog post)–well, I just find that flabbergasting.
PS- I read some of the supportive comments people left for Electra on her Myspace page, and one in particular really got my goat: “Jack needs to take a lesson from Trent on how to use leaked music to his advantage and STFU.” Umm…Trent Reznor is not FOR people releasing his music in an unauthorized fashion—he’s against record labels screwing over consumers by charging retarded expensive prices for CDs and in addition to that, it seems as though he is in FAVOR of artists self-releasing their material and taking control back from the record labels about how their music is distributed and at what cost.
I have to stop thinking about this. The stupid is hurting my head. Read more commentary at my homies Web Vomit and Stereogum.