Jack White: Vinyl is ‘the Movie Theater Compared to the iPhone’

2015-03-07

Story by Anne Erickson

Jack White explains his love for vinyl and splurging on an Elvis Presley LP

Remember earlier this year when the first record made by Elvis Presley going on auction sold for $300,000? Well, Jack White is the guy who splurged for that record.

White is on the cover of this week’s Billboard magazine, and when the magazine’s editor, Joe Levy, made the trip to Memphis, Tenn., he was shocked to be greeted by a man in a black suit, not Mr. White, who gave him a closed briefcase. Levy then got a text message instructing him to take that briefcase to the Third Man Records headquarters in Nashville. Levy did as he was told, and when he finally met White, he found out what was in the briefcase.

“This is the first recording ever made by Elvis Presley,” White said. “On Record Store Day, Third Man Records will reissue this on vinyl.”

This is quite appropriate, as White’s last solo album, “Lazaretto,” was the No. 1 selling vinyl record of 2014.

“It’s the movie theater compared to the iPhone,” White explained of vinyl records. “You’re reverential to it. With the vinyl, you’re on your knees. You’re at the mercy of the needle. You watch the record spin and it’s like you’re sitting around a campfire. It’s hypnotic.”

When White isn’t listening to music on vinyl, he’s cranking up digital songs while he’s driving, as he “like(s) to listen to music in the car really loud.” White also enjoys CDs, although he says unfortunately neither his laptop nor car have a CD drive.

“I miss actually having the thing,” White said. “But when you respect music, it doesn’t matter how are getting it. We still know what the real deal is. But you start wondering about people who don’t.”

The full Billboard interview with White will reach newsstands Monday.




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