The White Stripes, one of the most original duos of the last decade and a band who helped pull popular music out of the late 90s swamp of rap-rock and boy groups, has officially broken up.
Jack and Meg White posted a poignant message on their website Wednesday, insisting that the split was amicable and in no way related to Meg's health issues. It was because if a "myriad of reasons" says the obit.
The news isn't terribly shocking, as they have been dormant for over three years now with no tangible sign of resuming activity. Their last tour together was in Canada in 2007, subject of a great documentary film, Under the Great White Northern Lights, directed by Emmett Malloy.
If you watched this film, you may have witnessed the actual real life break up of the White Stripes. As NOW's review mentioned, Meg appears withdrawn and detached for most of the tour as they gallivant across every province and territory in Canada, playing unannounced secret shows, and culminating with a 10-year anniversary in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, where Jack has family roots.
But the complexity of Meg's relationship with Jack and the White Stripes is revealed at the emotionally-charged ending.
The pair are sitting together at a piano at the last stop of the tour while Jack gently plays a version of White Moon. This brings Meg to tears and Jack whispers something inaudible to her before they embrace. This could be one of the most touching celluloid moments in the history of rock docs.
The sadness of the scene is intensely palpable and it feels like there's more ending than just a Canadian tour. As it turns out, all White Stripes tour dates were cancelled immediately after the Canadian leg, citing Meg's battle with acute anxiety problems.
The White Stripes would play only once after, a single tune on the last Conan O'Brien show for NBC. Conspiracy theorists can read deep into the choice of song - We're Going to Be Friends. This time, it's Jack who looks like he's on the verge of tears as he stares deep into Meg's eyes during their duet chorus.
Let's hope they stay friends long enough to give it another try down the road.