How bad is the quality of that Icky Thump leak sendspacing its way around the web? You know well that we’ll ravenously consume a record regardless the bitrate, but this one’s pushing it. Each of your emails came with the appropriate caveat (aww thanks guys): it’s a radio-rip, it sounds shitty. Begs the question: Who’d be ballsy/ignorant enough to play the entire album over two weeks before release?
At 2pm today, during my show, Q101 became the first station in the world to play the new White Stripes album, Icky Thump. It’s awesome. It’s really, really, unbelievably brilliant and awesome. I was giddy and excited to share it with fellow fans.
At 4pm today, Jack White called Q101’s main offices from Spain, where they’re touring, looking specifically for me, to yell at ME for leaking the album and, in part, being “messed up for the entire (music) business.” (Edit – I listened to the call again today, and I apologize for initially misquoting Jack.) I felt like I was going to throw up. Weirdest, most surreal conversation of my life.
So Sherman and Tingle were on the air when Jack called. They took the call with me in the studio, off the air. Jack asked me to take responsibility for leaking the record, and asked if I was sorry for what I’d done. S&T both jumped into the call – I was clearly flustered – and backed me 100%. We tried to explain where we were coming from – someone gave us a copy of a record that we were really excited to play, and the whole experience was an hour-long lovefest for him and his band – but he wasn’t having it. He hung up, very, very angry, and I thought I was going to cry. Instead, I drank some beers that the Fix had left in the studio. Room temperature Bud Light. Delicious.
After speaking to Jack’s manager and getting their side of the story, Spike and I went on the air with S&T to open up the situation to the listeners. We respected Jack’s desire not to be on the air and didn’t re-air the call, but we talked about what was said and what happened. I’m extremely grateful to everyone who called in supporting us. I don’t think I am helping to ruin the music industry. I think I made people excited for the new White Stripes record. I know that was our intention.
I also still think Jack White is an incredibly talented musician, and I still think the new record is amazing. I just don’t think I’ll be able to listen to it without feeling like crap for a good long while.
And that’s all I have to say about that.
Won’t be all everybody else has to say about that, though. Feel bad for Jack, and side with him, too. What Electra did isn’t like a blogger leaking an entire album, but — and not to get all CBS/Imus about this — there’s a responsibility to using those airwaves; it involves being aware that some kid with audiojacking software is a right-click-save away from spreading all you play. It also involves being aware that if you leak Jack White’s shit he will call you up and make you cry.