Jack White Posts Loving Poem Honoring Former White Stripes Drummer Meg White, Calling out ‘Demons, Cowards and Vampires’

Jack White often prefers the inscrutable, twisty gesture over the obvious, spell-it-out one. Which is why the singer/guitarist’s seeming counterpunch to a blow-up about his former White Stripes bandmate Meg White’s drumming skills is a chef’s kiss “nothing to see here, and, by the way, you are wrong” response.


In case you haven’t been paying attention, earlier this week political journalist Lachlan Markay opined in a since-deleted tweet that “the tragedy of the White Stripes is how great they would’ve been with a half decent drummer… I’m sorry Meg White was terrible and no band is better for having a sh—y drummer.”

That unprovoked broadside against the timekeeper who has all-but-vanished from public view since the dynamo duo called it quits in 2011 drew a torrent of support for Meg from, among others, Roots drummer Questlove, Against Me’s Laura Jane Grace, Jack White’s ex-wife singer/model Karen Elson and many others; Markay has since apologized for the comment he said was “petty, obnoxious, just plain wrong.”

But it was Jack White’s pointed, subtle rejoinder on Wednesday night (March 15) — in the form of a poem, of course — that shut it down in an artful manner. Check out the text of White’s poem below.

To be born in another time,
any era but our own would’ve been fine.
100 years from now,
1000 years from now,
some other distant, different, time.
one without demons, cowards and vampires out for blood,
one with the positive inspiration to foster what is good.
an empty field where no tall red poppies are cut down,
where we could lay all day, every day, on the warm and subtle ground

and know just what to say and what to play to conjure our own sounds.
and be one with the others all around us,
and even still the ones who came before,
and help ourselves to all their love,
and pass it on again once more.
to have bliss upon bliss upon bliss,
to be without fear, negativity or pain,
and to get up every morning, and be happy to do it all again

The poem was accompanied by an image of Meg White peeking out from behind a curtain of hair while thwacking a kit featuring the duo’s signature peppermint swirl color scheme. The White Stripes are among the nominees for this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Gil Kaufman