|Also known as:||Penny Farthing|
|Born:||December 10, 1974|
Pointe Farms, Michigan, USA
Megan Martha White (born December 10, 1974 in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan) is best known as the drummer and backing vocalist of Detroit alternative rock duo The White Stripes. The two-person band formed in 1997 after Meg and Jack married; although they divorced in 2000, the band continued. Her aptitude as a drummer is controversial and highly polarizing. Her struggle with anxiety disorder resulted in the cancellation of their 2007 tour, although she has given live performances since that time.
Meg White was born in Grosse Pointe Farms, and grew up in the Detroit area. Despite their own assertions to the contrary, White and fellow bandmate Jack White are not siblings but were married (and later divorced). In the early 1990s, Meg White worked as a bartender at Memphis Smoke, a bar in downtown Royal Oak (a Detroit suburb), where she first met musician/songwriter John Anthony "Jack" Gillis. They were married on September 21, 1996. In his characteristically unorthodox fashion, Gillis took her last name.
Jack White spent much of the 1990s (and the early part of their marriage) hopping from band to band, but in 1997, Meg first tried playing drums. In Jack's words, "When she started to play drums with me, just on a lark, it felt liberating and refreshing. There was something in it that opened me up." The young couple then began calling themselves the White Stripes and soon played their first gig at the Gold Dollar in Detroit. In keeping live performances to three basic elements, Jack did the guitar and vocal work while she played drums. They divorced in 2000 (before becoming nationally famous) but the band survived.
Though Jack White (the duo's guitarist and songwriter) usually sings the lead vocals, Meg White sings lead on "In the Cold, Cold Night", from the band's fourth album, Elephant; "Passive Manipulation", from the band's fifth album, Get Behind Me Satan; "Who's a Big Baby", the B-side to "Blue Orchid"; and "St Andrew (This Battle Is in the Air)", from the band's sixth album Icky Thump. Both Meg and Jack sing vocals on the track "Well It's True That We Love One Another" from Elephant. For his part, Jack White has declared her to be the key component in the White Stripes' sound. In reference to her "primal" approach to drumming, she remarked, "That is my strength. A lot of drummers would feel weird about being that simplistic."
White has appeared on the cover of Whirlwind Heat's single Pink, in a Detroit Cobras music video "Cha Cha Twist" as Little Red Riding Hood, and appeared with Jack White in a segment of Jim Jarmusch's 2003 film Coffee and Cigarettes.
On October 7, 2005, a picture posted on the Nine Inch Nails website of White with the band led to speculation that she replaced drummer Jerome Dillon, but two hours later, the photo was replaced with one of the band with Alex Carapetis. The significance of the photo featuring White is unclear, as she was never officially announced to be Nine Inch Nails' drummer, nor has any other explanation been given regarding the photo.
Fulfilling a longtime dream, Jack and Meg White guest starred on the long-running animated TV series The Simpsons in an episode titled "Jazzy and the Pussycats", which first aired on September 17, 2006. She has done some modeling for Marc Jacobs' 2006 Spring line. Two of her pictures appeared in the March 2006 issue of ELLE.
Meg White was chosen by Comedian/Director Bob Odenkirk to compose a drum theme for one of his characters in the film Let's Go to Prison, which was released in November 2006.
Meg White uses a red Ludwig drum kit with a red and white peppermint swirl on the batter sides of the toms and bass drum. On the Icky Thump tour the bass drum head design was switched to a button. She also uses a pair of Paiste 14" Signature Medium Hi-Hats, a Paiste 19" Signature Power Crash, and a Paiste 22" 2002 Ride.
She is, by her own admission, "very shy" and gives few interviews. Because of this, when the band is interviewed, Jack White will do most of the talking. In her time away from the band Meg enjoys photography and amateur taxidermy. Animals are also something of a motif in her photography (mainly album covers and music videos). Among those photographed with her are a snake, rats (the video for Hotel Yorba and the back cover of Elephant), a cow, rabbits, and raccoons (the 7 inch cover of the Denial Twist single). She guards her privacy in a manner that she identifies with Bob Dylan, whom she admires.
On September 11, 2007, the White Stripes were forced to cancel 18 tour dates due to Meg White's suffering from acute anxiety. The following day, said problems caused the duo to cancel the remainder of their 2007 UK tour dates as well. There have been reports however, that the tour was cancelled due to an alleged sex tape being released on the Internet. A band spokesman has since stated that the woman in the footage is not White.  She recovered and appeared onstage during an encore set at a Detroit show with The Raconteurs in June 2008, which was met with an enthusiastic audience.
References in popular culture
One of the tracks on singer-songwriter Ray Lamontagne's third album, Gossip in the Grain is about, and named after, White.
- Fricke, David (2005) "White on White". Rolling Stone (accessed April 12, 2006)
- "White Stripes Marriage License" Glorious Noise Retrieved 2007-12-11]
- Smytek, John (2006). "Do they make striped Pampers?" The Detroit Free Press (accessed May 4, 2006)
- Scaggs, Austin (May 1, 2003), "Jack White". Rolling Stone. (921):16
- Photo (2005). Uncaptioned NIN Official website. (accessed June 13, 2006).
- NME staff (2003)."From White to Yellow?"
- MTV Montgomery, James (2006)."White Stripes Get Entangled In A Simpson Family Feud"
- NME staff (2006). "Meg White becomes a model" NME.com (accessed June 2, 2006)
- " Worst Reviews" Staff (2006). "Let's Go To Prison at WorstPreviews"
- Perry, Andrew (2004). What's eating Jack?. The Observer. Retrieved on 2007-08-14.
- 9.11.07 WhiteStripes.com (accessed September 12, 2007)
- The White Stripes cancel UK tour. BBC (September 13, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-09-14.
- Meg White In An Internet Sex Tape. Blend Celebrity (2007-09-24). Retrieved on 2008-01-12.
- Vincent, Pru. (2007). "Meg White Sex Tape is a Fake". The London Paper. Retrieved October 3, 2007.
- Sullivan, Denise (2004). The White Stripes: Sweethearts of the Blues. Backbeat Books. ISBN 0-87930-805-2 Google Print (accessed June 1, 2006)
- White Stripes official website
- "The White Stripes Interview", Meg interviews Jack for Amazon.co.uk in time for the release of Get Behind Me Satan