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Jack White Wishes the White Stripes Hadn’t Broken Up, Too

Jack White

The chance of the White Stripes reuniting appear to be as sadly slim as ever, but at least Jack White is making the cause of the rockers’ continued absence a little bit clearer. White recently told NME there’s “absolutely no chance” of his old band getting back together. “I’m not the kind of person that would retire from baseball and come out of retirement the next year,” he was quoted as saying.

Now, in an extensive New York Times Magazine profile, White has explained that the choice isn’t necessarily up to him. “I’d make a White Stripes record right now,” White told the Times. “I’d be in the White Stripes for the rest of my life. That band is the most challenging, important, fulfilling thing ever to happen to me. I wish it was still here. It’s something I really, really miss.”

The duo’s split really came at the behest of drummer Meg White, Jack says of his ex-wife. “Some people can live their whole lives in limbo,” he told the Times. “I’d rather cut the lifeline so we can move on with our lives. There came a point where I said, ‘If we’re not doing this, we need to put an end to it right now.’ And that’s what she wanted to do.”

Asked why, White deflected questions toward Meg, who declined to comment for the article. “You’d have to ask her,” he said. “I don’t know what her reasons are. Having a conversation with Meg, you don’t really get any answers. I’m lucky that girl ever got onstage, so I’ll take what I can get.”

In fact, although the Times notes White’s somewhat patronizing tone where Meg is concerned, he maintains that she was the one running the show all along. “Even when we were touring 200 days a year, I would have said: Can we do this? Can we do that?” he’s quoted as saying. “Meg completely controlled the White Stripes. She’s the most stubborn person I’ve ever met, and you don’t even get to know the reasons.”

White’s comments come as he gets set to release his solo debut, Blunderbuss, on April 24, following a wonderfully playful media barrage that has included an insane video and the launch of 1,000 helium balloons carrying flexi discs pressed with an otherwise yet-to-be-released song. The White Stripes issued a statement finalizing their breakup in February 2011. Their last public performance came on the final episode of Conan O’Brien’s Late Night, in 2009, and they played their final show in Southaven, Mississippi, in 2007, before scrapping the rest of the tour due to Meg’s “acute anxiety.” It’s a shame that anxiety probably won’t be diminished by becoming publicly known as the instigator in the breakup of a late, great band.