In a recent piece for Interview Magazine, Jack White complained about the Guinness Book Of World Records deliberately avoiding the inclusion of the White Stripes, something we chronicled in yesterday’s edition of Where’s The Beef?. To review, here’s Jack:
The Guinness book is a very elitist organization. There’s nothing scientific about what they do. They just have an office full of people who decide what is a record and what isn’t. I mean, there is some stuff like Olympic records where they have a committee. But most of the records in there — who has the biggest collection of salt-and-pepper shakers or whatever — are just whatever they want them to be.
So, NME called up the folks at Guinness World Records to get a statement. And, basically, shots fired!
Guinness World Records said that although the Stripes had been previously acknowledged as the record-holders in the 2009 edition of the tome, they had since scrapped any similar attempts or categories.
“The White Stripes were in fact recognized in the 2009 Edition of the Guinness World Records book for the shortest music concert ever when, on July 16 2007, they played just one note at St John’s in Newfoundland, Canada,” they said.
“Subsequent to this appearance we received a large volume of applications from bands and performers seeking to beat this record. The ultimate results of this was individuals claiming that simply appearing on stage was enough to qualify them for this record.”
They added: “The results were difficult to objectively measure (for example, how many members of the crowd need to be able to see the performer before they disappear off stage?) and as such it’s difficult to justify an appearance as a concert by any reasonable definition of the word.”
They then went on to explain:
“The nature of competing to make something the ’shortest’ by its very nature trivializes the activity being carried out, and Guinness World Records has been forced to reject many claims of this kind. As such, we have been forced to cease listing records for the shortest song, shortest poem, and indeed the shortest concert.”
Well, at least he’s still a frontrunner for most record releases involving helium balloons.