I distinctly remember the first time I had ever heard The White Stripes. It was over 7 years ago, when I was 17 years old, and it was the summer before starting my senior year of high school.
At this point in my life, I wasn’t the music geek that I am today. I listened to whatever was on the radio, or whatever my friends listened to.
It was one of those hot and sticky summer days in Santa Clara, the kind that makes you feel like a Kirkland Signature ham, glistening with sweat instead of a sweet honey glaze. The kind where your ghetto air conditioning (aka spraying a cold water bottle into a fan) just doesn’t cut it. On those types of days, my mom and I would escape to the air conditioned confines of Valley Fair Mall.
I remember walking into Macy’s Men & Home, looking up at the television screen, and seeing this music video:
At the time, I had no idea who the band or what the song was. But I had to find out. It was so different from everything else that I listened to, but something about it resonated with me.
Later that evening, after probably Googling something like “what’s that lego video?”, I discovered that the band was called The White Stripes, and that the song was “Fell In Love With A Girl.”
A subsequent trip to Rasputin Records, and I was officially the proud owner of “White Blood Cells.” I don’t know how many times I listened to that album that summer, or since then, but it remains one of my all-time favorite albums.
Candy Cane Children
Come September, I had the chance to see The White Stripes at the Greek Theater in Berkeley. And it was only my second concert ever.
To this day, after going to hundreds of concerts, this is still one of the all-time best live performances that I have ever seen. The chemistry between Jack and Meg was electric, the songs sounded so raw and explosive, and the audience–a sea of red and white-clad people–was hanging onto every note.
I’ll never forget how The White Stripes helped set me on the path to a fantastic music scene, or how their music makes me feel.
Like many other ‘Candy Cane Children’ out there, I’m devastated to hear that they’ve split up.
But, as they say, the music lives on. Even though I’ll never see them live again, I know that I can pop in “De Stijl” or “Get Behind Me Satan” and relive those memories.
RIP, The White Stripes!