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Finding It Harder To Be A Gentleman?

By Lizz Kannenberg in Arts & Entertainment on May 31, 2007 8:03PM

2007_05_ickythump.jpgJack White’s entire week was ruined by one fan with a bit of influence and a lot of airtime. DJ Electra, who handles afternoons on Chicago alterna-giant Q101, was fortunate enough to stumble across a full version of the White Stripes’ forthcoming and very much anticipated Icky Thump album. She did what any self-respecting superfan with a listenership of several hundred thousand rock fans would do – she put that shit on the air. While this may have delighted those odd folks who were listening to terrestrial radio at 2 p.m. yesterday a whole lot, it didn’t go over so well with Mr. White - and he held nothing back in letting Electra and her superiors know it. By 4 p.m., he’d placed a call to the station, from Spain no less, to express his extreme disgust with Electra, the station, and the music industry at large. Though Q101 is honoring Jack’s request to not air the phone call, Electra kicked out some details on her blog, including the fact that Icky Thump may never mean the same thing to her again.

2007_05_award_small.gifThis isn’t the first time White has taken personal offense (and personal action to express his prissiness) at a somewhat innocuous recognition of his craft. In 2006, the Center for Nursing Advocacy “honored” him with a Golden Lamp Award, given annually to the public figure who does the most to detract from the general image of the nursing profession. The White Stripes’ song “The Nurse” was the target of the group’s ire, and they sent White the award and accompanying analysis of why he be dissin’ Florence N’s memory. Much to the surprise of these tender caregivers, Jack took it personally and responded by presenting the group’s executive director with his own Metaphorical Ignorance Award.

Needless to say, Electra’s Stripes fandom has taken a beating this week. While she says she’ll always appreciate Jack’s talent, it will be hard for her to listen to Icky Thump without being reminded of the verbal smackdown she got from its mastermind.

What do you think? Is Jack justified in his bitching, or is this another sign of the no-really-she’s-my-sister melodrama that’s fed his mystique so well?