In Praise of Meg White

When The White Stripes broke up a few weeks ago, most people were at first saddened by the news (and by most people I mean fans of the band) and then elated. The logic goes like this: shit, no more new music from the White Stripes, but yay!, no more Meg White.

The drummer has never truly been given her due because she is the rhythm equivalent of a Frank Stella painting. Noel Murray give her the praise she so rightfully deserves.

What I’ve always appreciated about The White Stripes is that while Jack White maintains a carefully constructed public persona, his approach to music is more of-the-moment. He’s never been a big one for set lists, or for spending a year writing songs, then heading into a studio to record them. Each White Stripes album is—or was—a document of the weeks Jack and Meg spent on it, and of whatever they were inspired to do during that time. Like a painter who gets booked for a gallery show and then frantically starts filling up canvases, Jack and Meg didn’t start a White Stripes record until they’d cleared their schedules and blocked out the studio time. And onstage, they strove to be just as extemporaneous.

Meg’s sparse drumming style, if you want to call it that, gave Jack White the freedom to breath his guitar, to take his primal love for the blues and drive it into unfettered territory. Sometimes the best music is what’s not played between the notes and Meg did that as well as anyone.

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  • Kaarel February 17, 2011, 10:45 am

    I totally agree with you. Meg has always been great even if most of the people can't appreciate it enough.