Vinyl Enthusiast Jack White Officially Appointed Vinyl Ambassador

Record Store Day honors Third Man head with honorific

Kyle McGovern WRITTEN BY
Kyle McGovern

Record Store Day 2013 (April 20) revealed its official film selection earlier this month, and now the annual analog holy day has its ambassador: noted vinyl enthusiast and superstar Jack White.

"Jack White is a record store owner, a record label head, a record maker, and a record consumer," Michael Kurtz, the freshly knighted co-founder of Record Store Day, said in a statement released today (February 19). "The passion, pride, creativity and independent spirit he puts into every one of those roles is undisputed. We can think of no better Ambassador for Record Store Day 2013, and are thrilled to have Jack White on board to celebrate the culture of the independent record store."

The Third Man head honcho already sounds fired up. In a "wake up call" paired with the ambassador announcement, White writes, "Getting out of your chair at home to experience something in the real world has started to become a rare occurrence, and to a lot of people, an unnecessary one... There's no romance in a mouse click." The Grammy show-stealer goes on, urging, "Let's wake each other up. The world hasn't stopped moving. Out there, people are still talking to each other face-to-face, exchanging ideas and turning each other on. Art houses are showing films, people are drinking coffee and telling tall tales, women and men are confusing each other and record stores are selling discs full of soul that you haven’t felt yet."

He continues, "The size, shape, smell, texture and sound of a vinyl record; how do you explain to that teenager who doesn't know that it's a more beautiful musical experience than a mouse click? You get up off your ass, you grab them by the arm and you take them there. You put the record in their hands. You make them drop the needle on the platter. Then they'll know."

If you weren't already feeling bad about yourself, hope that helped. But at least the Blunderbuss rocker is taking his ambassador role — a titled previously held by Iggy Pop, Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, and others — seriously.

"As Record Store Day Ambassador of 2013," White writes, "I’m proud to help in any way I can to invigorate whoever will listen with the idea that there is beauty and romance in the act of visiting a record shop and getting turned on to something new that could change the way they look at the world, other people, art, and ultimately, themselves."

Read White's entire pep-talk below, and watch his accompanying video announcement up above.

Years ago someone told me that 1,200 high school kids were given a survey. A question was posed to them: Have you ever been to a stand-alone record shop? The number of kids that answered "yes" was... zero.

Zero? How could that be possible? Then I got realistic and thought to myself, "Can you blame them?" How can record shops (or any shop for that matter) compete with Netflix, TiVo, video games that take months to complete, cable, texting, the Internet, etc. etc? Getting out of your chair at home to experience something in the real world has started to become a rare occurrence, and to a lot of people, an unnecessary one. Why go to a bookstore and get a real book? You can just download it. Why talk to other human beings, discuss different authors, writing styles and influences?  Just click your mouse. Well here's what they'll someday learn if they have a soul; there's no romance in a mouse click. There's no beauty in sitting for hours playing video games (anyone proud of that stop reading now and post your opinion in the nearest forum).  The screen of an iPhone is convenient, but it’s no comparison to a 70mm showing of a film in a gorgeous theater. The Internet is two-dimensional…helpful and entertaining, but no replacement for face-to-face interaction with a human being. But we all know all of that, right?  Well, do we?  Maybe we know all that, but so what?

Let's wake each other up.

The world hasn't stopped moving. Out there, people are still talking to each other face-to-face, exchanging ideas and turning each other on. Art houses are showing films, people are drinking coffee and telling tall tales, women and men are confusing each other and record stores are selling discs full of soul that you haven’t felt yet. So why do we choose to hide in our caves and settle for replication? We know better. We should at least. We need to re-educate ourselves about human interaction and the difference between downloading a track on a computer and talking to other people in person and getting turned onto music that you can hold in your hands and share with others. The size, shape, smell, texture and sound of a vinyl record; how do you explain to that teenager who doesn't know that it's a more beautiful musical experience than a mouse click? You get up off your ass, you grab them by the arm and you take them there. You put the record in their hands. You make them drop the needle on the platter. Then they'll know.  

Let's wake each other up.

As Record Store Day Ambassador of 2013 I’m proud to help in any way I can to invigorate whoever will listen with the idea that there is beauty and romance in the act of visiting a record shop and getting turned on to something new that could change the way they look at the world, other people, art, and ultimately, themselves. 

Let's wake each other up.

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