We resisted reporting on the Jack White “guacamole-gate” story earlier, because we had a feeling it was being sensationalized. Our suspicions were just confirmed, in the form of an official statement from White’s management.
To summarize- White played a show earlier this week, on Monday, Feb. 2, at The University of Oklahoma. Ahead of the performance, the school’s newspaper, The Oklahoma Daily, had apparently printed Jack’s full tour rider (which included oddities like “no bananas anywhere in the building” and, a point of particular gossip this morning, a private guacamole recipe that was not supposed to be leaked) and contract, which contained specific financial information about the show. During the event, White called out the paper, apparently claiming “Just because you can type it on your computer doesn’t make it right.” Props to Jack for speaking out.
Anyway, in the aftermath of the incident, the school paper claimed that they had subsequently been blacklisted by White for any future performances, and that the policy would apply to all artists repped by his booking agency, WME. According to a statement we just received from Jack’s publicist, on behalf of his management team (Monotone Inc.), the claims floating around that the ban came from White or his management are simply “untrue,” and, for the most part, White and his crew had a positive experience playing the show (whether or not WME, White’s booking agent, has blacklisted OU is unclear, but, if they did, is appears not to have been on White’s insistence). The statement also makes mention that the rider requests are for Jack and crew, and chastises the paper that printed the documents. You can read the full statement below.
Note: An earlier version of this post did not clearly specify that Jack White’s management (Monotone Inc.) and booking agent (WME) are separate entities. It has been edited to reflect this fact more accurately.
To the students and staff of University of Oklahoma:
Jack White would love to thank all the concert attendees at his performance at the University of Oklahoma. The crowd was incredible and Mr. White played an extensive two and a half hour show for them. The students who helped organize the event were wonderful. Playing in, and for, the people of Oklahoma is one of Jack White’s favorite tour stops. At no time did Jack White or White’s management say that we would never play there again, that is untrue.
The incidents with the OU Daily student newspaper reporting the financial terms of the show, the private tour rider information, along with unsolicited photographers from their staff were unfortunate, unprofessional, and very unwelcoming. The show was one of many on this tour directed at playing for university students in their own environment. And the band were all completely thrilled with the performance and the crowd.
Incidentally, the most important function of a rider is that it lays out optimal technical specifications to ensure the audience has the best experience possible. For that, Jack hires a team of very qualified touring professionals who write the rider and attempt to execute a professional and pleasant experience for all involved. Part of that is making sure that the tour personnel of about 30 people plus the local venue staff are fed. Contrary to what some believe, Jack doesn’t write the rider nor make demands about his favorite snacks that must be in his dressing room. We’re not even sure he likes guacamole but we do know that the folks who work hard to put on the show do enjoy it.
(By the way, now that’s it out there, we recommend you try Lalo’s guacamole recipe. It’s delicious.)
We hope those present for Mr. White’s performance are able to maintain their good memories from the experience and he looks forward to seeing them again soon.
(Jack White’s management)”