Why You Don't Hear About Meg White Anymore

In 1998, the world was starting to become acquainted with Jack and Meg White and their alternative rock band The White Stripes. Through their first single "Let's Shake Hands" in the winter of '98 to their subsequent first and self-titled album in the summer of '99, people who got a taste of the band's unique garage rock sound were quickly becoming fans. A little over a decade later, The White Stripes would hold eight Grammy nominations and four wins. 


Although the ex-husband-and-wife duo would end up releasing seven albums, their last one was back in 2010. Still, their music continues to linger today. Attend nearly any sports venue and you'll be reminded of the twosome through their hit anthem "Seven Nation Army." As of this writing, Jack is still making music and showing no signs of slowing down. Meg, however, seems to have disappeared, existing only in the confines of band's last album "Under Great White Northern Lights." Whatever happened to her? You'll want to keep reading to find out.

The final performance

Although The White Stripes' last album came out in the late winter of 2010, the duo played their last performance over a year prior. You could say that they went out with a bang. At the time, Conan O'Brien was facing his last time hosting NBC's Late Night. "When we were trying to decide which musical guest to feature on the last show after so many years, there was one band that was always on the top of my list," O'Brien said during the farewell episode. Although he said he "wasn't sure this could happen," the host welcomed The White Stripes.


The duo took the stage and performed a modified version of their 2001 song "We're Going to Be Friends." Although fans were expecting Meg to man the drums per usual she, instead, played guitar. Audiences knew this would be O'Brien's last time on Late Night, but no one knew this would be Jack and Meg's final performance together.

Meg's struggle with acute anxiety

The White Stripes' performance on Late Night was a big deal even before fans realized it would be their last. According to Billboard, the twosome abruptly called off their entire United States tour just one day before it was set to begin in Albuquerque, New Mexico back in September 2007. At that time, the band also made the decision to cancel their upcoming United Kingdom tour, which was set to begin in mid-October 2007.


"The White Stripes announced today that they are canceling their forthcoming tour due to health issues," a short statement from the band to Rolling Stone revealed. "Meg White is suffering from acute anxiety and is unable to travel at this time." The statement continued: "We hate to let people down and are very sorry." As the publication stated, the band also bowed out of the Austin City Limits festival the day prior, citing "medical reasons."

Vanishing anxiety?

In May 2010 — over a year after performing on Late Night and close to three years since their final concert — fans started to get their hopes up for a White Stripes reunion. Jack White told the The Times (via MTV) that he "would like to" get back together with his former bandmate to create some new music.


"I don't think her anxiety exists anymore," he told the publication, "but I don't know." Although it's hard to imagine that Meg's anxiety simply vanished, it was refreshing to hear that her mental health may have improved. Jack continued to give fans more hope when he confirmed that his ex-wife was present while he was rehearsing for The Dead Weather, a now-defunct band Jack White joined in 2009. "Meg's still involved and everything, but we've never sat down and gone, 'Okay, so don't forget to block out three months.'" This was not unusual for him and Meg, however. He explained, "We never did that, even in the thick of craziness of The White Stripes." Unfortunately for fans, though, the reunion never came.


Did Jack keep her silent?

In a scene from The White Stripes' 2009 documentary, Under Great White Northern Lights, Jack petitions his bandmate: "Meg, can you finally tell the whole world — finally once and for all — that people who think I never let you talk when we're doing interviews, can you tell them that that's — well, just tell them what your opinion is." In a rather uncomfortable moment, Meg responds, "I'm quiet. What can I say?" 


The tense conversation continues and eventually leads to an ironic exchange. Jack can be heard talking over Meg while asking what she would say to people that ask if Jack talks over her or won't let her talk. Hmm. Nevertheless, Meg revealed to her ex and the camera that she would say that Jack has "nothing to do with it." Whether Jack is the reason she's chosen to be quiet or not, it is certainly true that Meg is, indeed, not one to say much.

Meg is still a hermit

As an incredibly private introvert, Meg has become a bit of an enigma. She attained a high level of fame and then just seemingly disappeared. She's not on social media, she doesn't take interviews anymore — you'd even be hard-pressed to find a paparazzi photo of her just out and about. One of the few ways people are privy to the former singer and drummer's whereabouts are through Jack.


In 2014, Rolling Stone's contributing editor Jonah Weiner decided to ask the musician if he was still in contact with his former bandmate. "I don't think anyone talks to Meg," Jack admitted. "She's always been a hermit." He revealed that when they both lived in Detroit, Michigan (where Meg is thought to still live), he would "have to drive over to her house" if he wanted to have a conversation with her. By this point in time, Jack said he and Meg talked "almost never."

She doesn't keep in touch with Jack

In Jack White's 2014 interview with Rolling Stone, the rocker wouldn't discuss his marriage to Meg, but did divulge that Meg wasn't a very supportive bandmate. "She's one of those people who won't high-five me when I get the touchdown," he told the magazine. "She viewed me that way of 'Oh, big deal, you did it, so what?' Almost every single moment of the White Stripes was like that." Although Rolling Stone and other publications reached out Meg for a comment, she did not reply. 


Jack went on to issue an apology on his website (via Billboard), calling Meg "a strong female presence in rock and roll." He explained that he hadn't meant to "slight her." He wrote, "I would never publicly do that to someone I love so dearly." Nevertheless, Meg did not respond — at least not publicly — and by the following year, Jack revealed that Meg "doesn't answer her phone" when he calls.

No, she's not a drummer again

In March 2016, fans of The White Stripes and, especially, fans of Meg were surprised to hear that she was chosen as the replacement drummer for the rock band Rush. Only, this news turned out not to be even the slightest bit true. According to Snopes, the now-discontinued site Nevada County Scooper published an article that seemingly "confirmed" the news and included quotes from the band's lead guitarist. "We've worked very closed with Meg White over the past few months," the site claimed guitarist Alex Lifeson revealed in a telephone interview. But, this interview never happened.


Snopes revealed that the image used on the site was a "digitally altered" photo of Meg with a Rush logo superimposed onto the background. Of course, before you get too mad at the Nevada County Scooper for the false hope, they did claim to be a satirical site of the same ilk as The Onion. It could be that the site was poking fun at Meg, who had been widely criticized for her simplistic drumming style in the past.

The band's first joint statement in years

Although Jack and Meg may not exactly be mortal enemies, the old adage "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" certainly applied to the couple back in October 2016. For the first time in years, The White Stripes issued a joint statement to Facebook. "Regarding the use of 'Seven Nation Army' in a Donald Trump campaign video, The White Stripes would like to unequivocally state that they have nothing whatsoever to do with this video," the former duo revealed. "They are disgusted by this association, and by the illegal use of their song." 


Completely miffed by the then-candidate's decision to use their song, Jack and Meg began selling anti-Trump merch via Third Man Records just two days after the former couple released their statement. The "Icky Trump" shirts, which are a play on the song "Icky Thump," also feature lyrics from the hit song. Of course, this was probably not the reunion many were hoping for, but at least they got to talking again, right?

Has Jack changed his tune about Meg?

Even in 2018, Jack seems to go back and forth about his ex. In a Rolling Stone interview, the musician dubbed "Jack White solo" and The White Stripes one in the same. "There's only two people in the band. I was writing and producing and conducting. The melodies are coming from one person, the rhythm is coming from Meg," he explained. You have to wonder how Meg feels about being reduced to just "rhythm," while Jack takes credit for the rest.


After the interview was published, Jack backtracked when interviewed by KROQ's HD Radio Sound Space (via Uproxx). "[Meg's] appeal and what she brought to the band was this amazing minimalism that broke things down, much like many of the artists in the cubist movement or things like that, the De Stjil movement in the '20s." He continued, saying, "It was more powerful than if we had three guitar players in the band, and that's all due to her and the beauty that she brought to the music." 

Don't count on a reunion

Although Jack may have made up for the comments he made about Meg in various Rolling Stone interviews over the years, that doesn't necessarily mean the two are going to reunite. At least, it seems unlikely. With Meg still living a life so far away from the spotlight and with Jack still being very much a part of the music scene, the two are essentially worlds apart.


When Rolling Stone asked Jack point-blank if there was any slight chance that The White Stripes would get back together, Jack's facial expression said it all. The magazine revealed that he appeared to find the question strange, before replying, "I highly doubt that would ever be a thing." Since we can't exactly ask Meg, we'll just have to take Jack's word for it. Unfortunately, it seems that our favorite garage grunge duo — our Sonny and Cher of the early aughties — are officially a thing of the past.