Jack White: The Prodigal Son?

As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, alt-rock powerhouse, frontman of The White Stripes and The Raconteurs, member of the Dead Weather, owner of Third Man Records, eccentric creative, furniture upholsterer, vinyl enthusiast, and Southwest Detroit native, Jack White will be opening a second store for his record label in Midtown this November.

Photo courtesy of @ThirdManRecords

Photo courtesy of @ThirdManRecords

The announcement, made by Third Man on June 2, with an Instagram post captioned, “Third Man staff in Nashville (the ‪#‎mothership‬) toasts to our future in the ‪#‎CassCorridor‬, ‪#‎Detroit‬! Congratulations to ‪#‎JackWhite‬ and Tom Kartsotis of @Shinola on the purchase of the building! ‪#‎thirdmanrecords‬ ‪#‎shinola‬,” made resounding noise through the city, with people crying from the rooftops, “he’s back!” Okay, not really, but it might as well have.

White has had a weird relationship with the city of Detroit. Once the White Stripes hit it big and after Jack White moved to Nashville, TN, the White Stripes refused to tour to Detroit, the city that made them. The home of the Magic Stick where White got in a fight with Von Bondies singer Jason Stollsteimer. There’s been controversy about the motive behind their apparent Detroit boycott, and even speculation that it wasn’t a conscious decision, but as a high school White Stripes fan without a car to go to a show in another state, I was not happy about it. He said that Detroit was “negative” and left it at that.

He’s been slowly making his way back to the city in recent years, paying $142,000 worth of back taxes to save the Masonic Temple’s concert hall (now called the Jack White Theater,) and playing shows at intimate venues that always sell out unrealistically fast. He’s thrown out the first pitch at a Tiger’s gamJW3e and has been seen around Midtown the past few weeks.JW3

Let me preface this statement by saying that I’m a huge Jack White fan. I have been for years. I’ve even taken the trip to Nashville solely to visit the original Third Man Records store. But I’ve always said, “why isn’t this in Detroit?” Third Man is known to have “originated in Detroit,” but it took six years after the Nashville store opened to open one in Detroit? He thought the city was too “negative” back then, but now that it’s the hip and trendy place to be, he doesn’t think that anymore?

I’ll be in line the morning after Thanksgiving at Detroit’s Third Man location, and I’m sure I’ll drop a lot of money. But it’s hard not to question, why now? We’re all glad you’re back, Jack, we just hope it’s for the right reasons.

View the original post at Challenge Detroit.

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