From Filter magazine, “Jack White Instant Manipulation”
Polaroids + Text Jack White


This is a Polaroid I took of my sister Meg White with an SX70 Polaroid camera from the 1970s. We couldn’t use it for anything we needed to release from our band The White Stripes because she was wearing leopard skin. I think she was just getting settled in before we did some other photos in our rehearsal room, but what a beauty. Sometimes I wonder if Meg is or was real; maybe I made her up and all that happened with us in our band and our travels was in my head. Perhaps it was just me on stage by myself the whole time with a six-foot rabbit named Meg. That would only explain some things, though. What a wonderful drummer to play with, so loud and simple. But looks can be deceiving. Who could tell from this picture that she’d murdered hundreds of people? She didn’t, but if she had, you couldn’t tell from this picture. Anyhow, I was going through some old boxes recently and I came across this photo so I took it out and put it on my refrigerator. I haven’t had a girl on my refrigerator since last Halloween, but that’s a different story.


What I wouldn’t give to look like this suave bastard. This is a statue, part of a pair of gorgeous sandy-plastered living room chalkware art sculptures of a hula girl and her serenading ukelele man. I took this with a macro lens on a Polaroid 690 camera, which some say is the best camera Polaroid ever made. I wouldn’t argue with that. The 600 SE is pretty slick, too, but a different beast. Anyhow, I found these statues at a Salvation Army–type store in Detroit. And they’re glorious. The date on the bottom of the gal says “1941” and the company is called “Lindner.” I’ve seen others but they don’t look as nice as these; the colors are subtle like the desert, and don’t seem kitschy, but almost like they are higher class. It’s funny how a patina or a tiny detail can render an old relic worthy or worthless. Anyhow, I wish I had this guy’s haircut and trousers. I can’t play the ukulele exactly, but I could learn that a hell of a lot easier than learning how to be as suave as this mad man.


I can’t remember who took this Polaroid of me and this rather stationary tree, but I do remember why we took it. I saw lightning strike this tree in my front yard the night before. It was incredible and terrifying. I was on my front porch just trying to watch the rain but stay out of harm’s way when lightning struck that tree right in front of me about fifty yards away. It’s hard to move when you see something like that. It’s probably the harshest warning you could receive, maybe harsher than someone firing a gun in the air because you might have a chance of talking your way out of that. But lightning? It dug the ground up a bit in front of the tree for about ten feet, which you can’t see in this picture. But damn I was well dressed that next morning, huh? Must’ve been scared straight, trying to get my act together. Oh, also, lightning has struck my front yard two OTHER times that I know about, and I have seen—and heard—the damage from indoors, not like that first time where I was naive enough to think I could sit on my porch like Grandpa Jones and whittle while the rain fell all around me and not worry about miniscule things like fate, and heavenly retribution, and so forth. Also, as a side note; what does “thunderstruck” mean? Knocked over by sound? Hmmm…