Jack White‘s battle with Guinness Book of World Records began and he and Meg White attempted to set the record for the shortest public concert. The attempt consisted of a single crash of Meg’s cymbal. Guinness approved and listed it, then removed it shortly thereafter.
In an interview with KROQ’s Stryker, White described his quest to set a Guinness World Record and the troubles he’s run into.
“They’re very strange. They’re very strange people,” White says as he chuckles. “I think there’s an overwhelming thought that they are scientific or run by the government or something or that these things are official records. They’re not official by any standard except for a couple of guys at the Guinness factory.”
“It was really funny when we had the concert, we had sent it in and they refused it to be a record. They said it doesn’t make it a record to be shortest at something. But that year they had the record for the longest concert in their book so we were confused.”
“Anyway, we didn’t even think about it for a while and it came up recently cause someone asked me about it… so we were saying ‘yeah, they refused it.’ It’s like they’re so arbitrary. There’s no science behind what they do. And the next day they called back and said, ‘we’d like to put it in the book now that you mentioned it.’” White increased the volume of his voice, nearly up an octave as he adds, “Well is it a record or not?! It’s just like whatever you guys want to do. They’re very funny. I think they take themselves too serious which is… kind of ridiculous.”
“They should be serious, they should be serious,” he repeats. “It should be like an encyclopedia. It should be fact. It should be government-based.”
“They decide what’s interesting,” continues White. “I think people should decide what’s interesting and not these couple people. But there’s all these institutions that are starting their own scenarios. We’ve been approached by people over the years. There’s one called recordsetter.com for people who want to break records that want to have nothing to do with Guinness. I love that. That shows ingenuity and a do-it-yourself attitude that’s brilliant.”
In a move to further mess with Guinness, White announced he set the record for “Most metaphors in a concert.” An official announcement was posted to his Third Man Records, only the announcement was a farce designed to take a jab at Guinness officials. The deeper the press release got, the more ridiculous it became. “Off mic, White laughed about the release saying, “We put it up as a joke to amuse ourselves. We were surprised how many people thought it was real. It was so silly.”
Jack White Interview
Jack White’s debut solo effort titled Blunderbuss is available via Third Man Records.