Jack White has responded after a tweet dismissing his former White Stripes bandmate Meg White’s drumming ability went viral. Earlier this week, journalist Lachlan Markay posted a widely-criticised, since-deleted tweet in which he called Meg’s drumming “terrible” and argued “no band is better for having shitty percussion.” Jack White has now paid tribute to Meg on Instagram, sharing a photo of the drummer alongside a poem.
To be born in another time,–@officialjackwhite
any era but our own would’ve been fine.
100 years from now,
1000 years from now,
some other distant, different, time.
one without demons, cowards and vampires out for blood,
one with the positive inspiration to foster what is good.
an empty field where no tall red poppies are cut down,
where we could lay all day, every day, on the warm and subtle ground,
and know just what to say and what to play to conjure our own sounds.
and be one with the others all around us,
and even still the ones who came before,
and help ourselves to all their love,
and pass it on again once more.
to have bliss upon bliss upon bliss,
to be without fear, negativity or pain,
and to get up every morning, and be happy to do it all again.
Read Jack White’s Tribute to Meg White
Several other prominent musicians took issue with Markay’s take. The Roots drummer Questlove called it “out of line af” in a tweet, adding that “what is wrong [with] music is people choking the life out of music like an Instagram filter – trying to reach a high of music perfection that doesn’t even serve the song (or music).”
Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace also weighed in, tweeting that “simplicity with soul will always be more impressive to me than technical virtuosity,” while Unknown Mortal Orchestra‘s Ruban Nielson pointed out White’s “impeccable taste and cool” and “elastic and intuitive sense of time.”
It’s not the first time Jack White has defended his former bandmate. “I never thought, ‘God, I wish Neil Part was in this band,’” he said in a 2005 Rolling Stone interview, attributing criticisms of Meg’s drumming to sexism. “Meg is the best part of this band. It never would have worked with anybody else, because it would have been too complicated… It was my doorway to playing the blues.”
Markay, for what it’s worth, has since recanted his tweet, describing it as an “ill-advised”, “over-the-top take” that was “just truly awful in every way. Petty, obnoxious and just plain wrong.” He went on to apologise to Meg White and “to women in the music business generally, who I think are disproportionately subject to this short of shit.”