Jack White has a new Raconteurs album coming out this week, which means he’s giving interviews, which means he’s finding new ways of positioning himself at a quirky anachronistic removed from the pedestrian concerns of modern life. The topic of the day? Cell phones.
We all know that White banned attendees from using them at concerts last year. But does Jack White—the man who once produced a Neil Young album on an antique recording device the size of a telephone booth, who built a guitar out of a fencepost, whose wardrobe contains a thousand variations on the theme of dressing like the 1940s—own a cell phone himself? Scroll down to find out!
Almost there. Why not listen to “Hotel Yorba” while you consider the options?
What do you think? Does Jack White, avatar of everything old-timey, wake up every morning and check Instagram? Does he use Google Maps to navigate in his horse and buggy or fully-restored Model T? Has he ever heard of TikTok? Did he shed a tear when Vine shut down? When there’s a change of plans for an upcoming tour, can his managers and assistants and so on reach him directly, or must they leave a message on the machine at home? Does Jack White own a cell phone?
Jack White does not own a cell phone, as he explained to BBC’s Channel 4. Here’s the video interview, in which he forewent the “corrupt 1940s casino owner” look he’s preferred recently for more of a dressed-down “1940s street urchin” ensemble.
“If you can’t just put that [mobile phone] down for an hour and experience life in a real way, that’s sad.”
Musician Jack White talks about why he doesn’t own a mobile phone and why he’s banned mobiles from his concerts, in the latest Ways to Change the World podcast. pic.twitter.com/hFkSQI9hTr
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) June 19, 2019
To think: Jack White doesn’t own a cell phone, and he never has owned one. He calls cell phones an “addiction,” one that he doesn’t have, which is honestly a fair point. My phone makes me anxious and unhappy: It wakes me up with its horrible buzz in the morning and keeps me up at night, it has me constantly tethered to a social media landscape that is horribly detrimental to our psyches and our political institutions in increasingly obvious ways, and yet I can’t bring myself to throw it away. Sometimes, even when he’s being utterly predictable, you gotta admit that Jack White is right.