From Guac Recipes To Crayon Contracts, the Wildest and Weirdest Jack White Moments

Jack White playing baseball in Dallas to promote his new sports shop, Warstic.
Jack White playing baseball in Dallas to promote his new sports shop, Warstic. Mike Brooks
Jack White celebrated his 47th birthday on July 9, and we can't be the only ones feeling like he should be older.

White has won 12 Grammy Awards, reinvented garage rock with his minimalist approach and even released two solo albums this year. If you’re worried that White isn’t enjoying all of the benefits of his success, fear not: he got a personalized virtual birthday card from the Island Brothers as a present from his new wife, Olivia Jean. It’s nice to know that someone as brilliant as White can enjoy things as insipid as TikTok rappers — he shared the video online with the caption “Best birthday present ever.”

His album Fear of the Dawn scored mostly positive reviews when it dropped in April, but if you’re White, you don’t have anything to prove. In some households, the White Stripes were basically gospel music. Icky Thump ranks among the best rock albums of the past 20 years, no matter how you choose to categorize it. If you ever played Guitar Hero in the 2000s, you probably know the album (and the rest of the Stripes music) like the back of your hand.

White made headlines again this year when he proposed to Olivia Jean onstage at the Detroit Masonic Temple. Understandably, the clip went viral, but would we expect anything less? In honor of Sir Edgar Scissor Blue’s big day, we looked back at some of the strangest moments, controversies and legends from his career.

The “Icky Trump” incident

You should know better than to use one of White’s songs without his permission. After then-presidential hopeful Donald Trump began using “Seven Nation Army” in a campaign video, White responded by selling “Icky Trump” T-shirts through the website of his Third Man Records label. The shirts quickly sold out. It's almost the most embarrassing use of "Seven Nation Army," unless you count the cringe-inducing trailer for the much-derided 2017 superhero film Justice League.

Playing Elvis in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

If you’ve never seen 2007’s Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, you’re missing out on one of the most strangely prophetic comedies of the early 21st century. The film stars John C. Reilly as the titular musician, whose challenging rise to fame consists of every music movie biopic cliche imaginable. Among these is the quintessential “pointless cameo from a well-known musician, usually Elvis.” In a hilarious performance, White appears as Elvis Presley. Austin Butler did a pretty great job in this summer’s Elvis, but we’ll always think of White as the signature screen version of The King.

Inspiring the best Game of Thrones parody ever

Trump may have run into trouble when he decided to use “Seven Nation Army,” but the White Stripes cover band The Shite Stripes found a fun way to incorporate the hit song into a parody act. The group cosplayed as the villainous White Walkers from Game of Thrones, and replaced the “seven nations” with the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. Maybe the upcoming prequel series House of the Dragon should consider bringing in these guys to do the actual score.

Fictionalizing his own story
To say that White has a bit of an imagination would be an understatement. He’s frequently told blatant lies about his background to the press, creating a mythology that’s just as complex as the Game of Thrones saga. A 2002 story by the Detroit Free Press confirmed that White had disguised his marriage to and divorce from bandmate Meg White, whom he previously claimed was his sister. White has also made absurd claims about how the White Stripes were born on Bastille Day and that Third Man Records was a former candy factory.

How do you like your guacamole?

In 2015, the University of Oklahoma’s newspaper OU Daily ran a story that recounted White’s recent visit to the campus. Among the details of their report was White's tour rider, which included detailed instructions about how the star liked his guacamole prepared. The guac could be served only around 5 p.m., and it had to be cubed with a butter knife and cut in a specific number of portions. This was eventually revealed to be an extended joke that White had with local promoters. His ban of bananas also wasn’t all that it was made out to be: there was a legitimate allergy among White’s crew.

Baseball hat salesman? Sure!
Sometimes rock stars sell strange novelty items, and White is no different. In 2015, he began frequenting Dallas to support his investment in designer baseball hats. Of course, White also has made extended shopping trips in the Lone Star State. He's played baseball in Dallas, and he and Ben Jenkins spent a day in Deep Ellum collecting old clocks from vintage stores. Eventually, the pair opened Warstic, a sports shop, on Main Street.

He’s a big Loretta Lynn fan, you know, like everyone else
White is a bit of a country music buff and a huge fan of country music legend Loretta Lynn, whom he met backstage after they were both performing in New York. Despite the 41-year age difference, the pair actually bonded. Lynn told Dan Rather that White “seems to be older in his ways and actions.” In the same interview, White responded by calling Lynn “the greatest female singer/songwriter of the 20th century.” Although rumors of romance were unfounded, White did get to work with his idol back in 2004 on the album Van Lear Rose.

“Another Way To Die” is the only reason to watch Quantum of Solace

Why are some of the best James Bond theme songs in the worst movies? Quantum of Solace from 2008 was a massively disappointing follow-up to Daniel Craig’s debut as 007 in Casino Royale, but it did give White the chance to show off his Bond fandom. White and Alicia Keys teamed up for “Another Way To Die.” You'd be smart to watch the title sequence featuring the song, then skip the rest of the movie entirely. Or, you know, you could just play Guitar Hero World Tour again.

“Your Furniture’s Not Dead”
Maybe there’s a reason that White claimed that Third Man Records used to make candy. In actuality, White completed an upholstery apprenticeship with Brian Muldoon when he was a young man. His one-man business, which he named Third Man Upholstery, was pretty successful when it came to profits. However, White apparently had a knack for writing contracts in crayon, so it's probably best that he left this profession behind.
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Liam Gaughan has been covering film and television since before he had a driver's license, and in addition to the Observer has been published in, Schmoes Know, Taste of Cinema and The Dallas Morning News. He enjoys checking classic films off of his watchlist and working on spec scripts.