Jack White became a household name thanks to his irresistible prowess that embedded love for The White Stripes into countless hearts and souls. Like every right-minded individual, White is also a Beatles maniac, and his favourite member of The Fab Four says a wealth about what he loves most about the group.
White himself was at the forefront of a rock revolution in the early 2000s, and he’s forever indebted to the cluster of bands who made bands like The White Stripes imaginable. The group’s seismic sound filled every room they ventured into, and White’s wizardry helped make guitars cool once more.
In the modern age, superstar guitarists have fallen somewhat out of vogue due to the advancement of production techniques. Still, White has single-handedly proven that something magical happens when fingers caress strings.
Surprisingly, his favourite member of The Beatles isn’t his fellow guitarist, George Harrison, nor is it John Lennon. While Paul McCartney isn’t the fashionable answer to this question, he’s White’s number one. “Paul is my favourite Beatle,” the guitarist one told MTV News backstage at the Outside Lands Festival in 2009. “He’s been a big influence on me — especially the way that he sings.”
Elaborating on his love for Macca, White added: “I heard a cover song they did early on called ‘Hippy Hippy Shake’ that Paul sang, and I loved how high he sang it,” White said. “My voice isn’t comfortable in that higher range, but that song was a big influence on me trying to get my voice somewhere like that.”
White has a seldom seen ability on the six-string, which puts him into the pantheon of great guitarists. However, his voice is always something that he’s had to strive to improve. Singing isn’t why he fell in love with music, and he’s worked tirelessly on his skills throughout his career.
The former White Stripes man is undoubtedly a capable singer, but that hasn’t stopped him from highlighting it as a part of his artistry that he can improve. Hearing how McCartney reached for those unattainable notes with guile gave White the inspiration he needed to adapt his voice and leave his comfort zone.
In 2010, their paths would cross, and White was a shivering wreck. Not only was he tasked with performing in front of President Obama at The White House, but his favourite Beatle was also in attendance.
With McCartney in the room, White delicately covered The Beatles track ‘Mother Nature’s Son’ and got his hero’s seal of approval in the process. Macca later remembered: “There was a rehearsal first of all in the afternoon, and I came in and Jack’s standing there, and I could see he was nervous, so I thought actually it would be good for them to have a rehearsal with me sat there.”
Adding: “Get over the nerves, because it’s going to be worse – he’s going to be sitting there and Michele and the kids and then all the crowd. But I thought Jack’s performance was great, very sensitive.”
If you needed further proof that Paul McCartney is an utter gentleman, then his support to Jack White that day at The White House shows that the singer was correct to label him as his favourite Beatle a year earlier.