In the grand tradition of celebrities wishing they had just gone with "no comment," Jack White apologized Saturday for comments made in his recent Rolling Stone profile, in which he revived his ongoing feud with the Black Keys --and took down large swaths of the music industry in the process.
"There are kids at school who dress like everybody else, because they don't know what to do, and there are musicians like that, too. I'll hear TV commercials where the music's ripping off sounds of mine, to the point I think it's me. Half the time, it's the Black Keys. The other half, it's a sound-alike song because they couldn't license one of mine. There's a whole world that's totally fine with the watered-down version of the original.
"Some people will hear that and say 'Oh, Jack White thinks he's the first person to play the blues.' But certain acts open up a market for a certain style. Amy Winehouse: Did she invent white soul? Wearing a beehive? No. But she did something brand new and fresh, altogether as a package, and you see who's in her wake, from the Duffys to the Lana Del Reys. Adele selling 20 million records? That would not have happened if Amy Winehouse was alive. The White Stripes did the same thing, and in our absence, you're gonna find someone to fill that. And you get a band like the Black Keys, who said they never heard of the White Stripes? Sure."
Bemoaning the fact that "we live in a sound bite, sensationalized age," and in the interest of wanting "to continue the activities I have planned for the rest of my year as a musician, and not be hounded by nonsense throughout those experiences," White penned a lengthy apology and explanation for his comments on his personal website:
Lord knows that I can tell you myself how hard it is to get people to pay attention to a two piece band with a plastic guitar, so any attention that the Black Keys can get in this world I wish it for them, and I hope their record stays in the top ten for many months and they have many more successful albums in their career.
...I wish no slight to the talents of Winehouse, Duffy, Lana Del Rey, and Adele. All of whom are wonderful performers with amazing voices. I have their records and I hope for more success for them all as the years go on. They deserve all they’ve gotten. And, I also would love to state that I personally find it inspiring to have powerful, positive female voices speaking out and creating at all times in the mainstream, and all of those singers do just that, so I thank them.
White also apologized for lashing out at his ex-wife and former bandmate Meg White, whom he referred to in the interview as "one of those people who won't high-five me when I get the touchdown":
She is a strong female presence in rock and roll, and I was not intending to slight her either, only to explain how hard it was for us to communicate with our very different personalities. This got blown out of proportion and made into headlines, and somehow I looked like I was picking on her. I would never publicly do that to someone I love so dearly. And, there are mountains of interviews where my words are very clear on how important I think she is to me and to music.
"God bless the Black Keys, Danger Mouse, Adele, Meg White, and anyone else I’ve spoken about, and thank you for understanding," White concluded. "Good fortune to all of them, and I’m sorry for my statements hurting anyone."
The entire letter can be read here.