[Exclusive] Jack White Holds Onto Piano Riff For Decade Before Recording It On Blunderbuss

Waiting patiently in a suite on the 4th floor of a posh Beverly Hills hotel sat KROQ’s Stryker with microphone in hand ready to interview one of the busiest men in rock, one Mr. Jack White. In a noticeably cheerful mood, White entered the room, sans entourage. Dressed as always in black, accented only by his hat and eyeball ring on his right hand.

Everything is all you on Blunderbuss, right?, began Stryker.

“Written, yes. But performed by a myriad of people from the Third Man Records family out in Nashville, from all over really… Detroit, Brooklyn. A lot of session people that played on all of Third Man 45s I’ve been producing for the last couple of years.”

Of the songs on the album, are these all things that you’ve held onto for years or did they just come to you within the last couple of years?

“They were all written at the time of making the record, some on the spot, some the day before,” Explains White. “There was only one thing that had been around for a long time which was the opening piano line to the song “Take Me With You When You Go.” It’s a piano thing I’ve been playing for like ten, twelve years… every time I sit down at the piano I play this thing. I always thought it was some song that I heard somewhere, a big band radio station from the 40s. I hadn’t heard it in ten years so I figured maybe it’s mine and I finally recorded it.”

Stryker came clean with White, “I get sad when I listen to Blunderbuss. There’s a line at the very end that could be one of the best lines I’ve heard in a long time. “Doing what to people need is never on the menu.”

White doesn’t hesitate to explain the lyric. “I promised myself once I started writing a couple songs for the record that if I had any melodies that I was dreaming and I would wake up in the middle of the night… It often happens but I’m too lazy to go write it down or record it. It’s just too much trouble man. And I said, I’m going to make myself do this. It happened twice during the record. Blunderbuss was actually a melody and a story that I dreamed about this hotel, an old hotel in Detroit, and I couldn’t figure out the time period of this hotel… It was about 5 o’clock in the morning. I actually got out of bed. It was not fun at the time but I was glad I did it.”

Blunderbuss is available now on Third Man Records.

-Jay Tilles, CBS Local


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