Watching this old White Stripes footage I realize that, wow, Jack White has really grown up on us. The White Stripes were a bolt out of the blue in 2000. Just a couple of crazy-looking upstarts from Detroit who singlehandedly reinvigorated the whole idea of rock’n'roll, (if I may be so bold). Since then Jack’s become the decade’s musical MVP, running a little empire built on those Stripesy ideals of authenticity, craftsmanship, and eccentricity. In the end, wearing only red and white clothing was too strict, but in everything else he’s kept his idiosyncratic credibility. He’s matured greatly as an artist, to judge from his world-weary recent solo debut. Meg meanwhile, has with typical levelheadedness decided fame and fashion weren’t for her, remarried, and settled down someplace where there’s no paparazzi. And I realize that it’s been a privilege to watch this trajectory unfold in real time. As opposed to reading about it thirty years after the fact, as usually happens. I’ve missed out on a lot of important people coming and going. But I’ve kept my eye on Jack White from the word go, and I’ll keep watching whatever he moves on to in the future, and I’ll be able to say, when he’s ensconced in every hall of fame, that this was an artist I’ve followed and been shaped by, seen, heard and met in his prime.