Fell in Love with a Band: The Story of The White Stripes
By: Chris Handyside
Paperback, 226 pages
Overall: 3 out of 5 stars
The main reason I read this book and the main reason that it was bumped up to 3 stars is because I am a completely biased White Strips fan. To me, Jack White is a rock god. Other than a handful of people, all living musicians shall bow down before this living legend. Reading the story of Jack’s evolution to stardom was extremely entertaining, but admittedly, only because I am such a huge fan. See the thing is, Jack is a product of nothing but extremely hard work and dedication. There is no crazy Hollywood story, no drama, nothing. Jack played, and continues to play, whenever, wherever, however he can. He is a machine, never stopping, and seeking constant improvement.
Jack’s dedication seemingly began from birth, as he listened to his older siblings jam out on an almost daily basis. His upbringing played a huge role in who Jack has become. The Detroit home that he was raised in, not only blared out the sounds of his siblings playing, but placed Jack in an environment of isolation. That isolation, from being in the racial and cultural minority, allowed Jack to focus on his own person and not be distracted by the trappings of society. When you listen to Jack play today, despite his huge popularity, you can still hear that boy playing alone with his instrument, oblivious to the world and its judgements. The best part of Fell in Love with a Band was its ability to convey the world in which Jack came from.
It was additionally very cool to find some unknown musical treasures that Jack participated in.
Creativity: 1 out of 5 stars
It certainly does not take much creativity to write a story about a legendary figure. The investigation into Jack’s world is told through factual information and from those around Jack and Meg White. The words of Jack and Meg are sorely missing.
Characters: 2 out of 5 stars
Chris Handyside had to do a lot of work to catch up with all of the characters that grew up knowing Jack and Meg, but the inability to get their first hand input was a big hindrance on the complete picture.
Spelling and Grammar: 4 out of 5 stars
Nothing that I noticed, but not like I was blown away by its perfection or eloquence.
Execution: 3 out of 5 stars
If not a fan of The White Stripes to begin with, I believe this would be quite dry and maybe boring. But if a fan, there are some stories that further endear you to both Jack and Meg.
The unbelievable luck that follows Jack, like when there was a manufacturing SNAFU that led to the last minute vinyls being made as red and white swirls, really?!
The love that he and his fans share, like when Jack lost a rare (because cheap and weird) guitar and a fan tracked one down and replaced it for him, giving it as a gift at a concert.
Some stories from Jack and Meg’s friends growing up.
All in all, I have to say it again, if you are a fan of The White Stripes, you will enjoy it, if not, probably not.