Jack White: From Altar Boy To Rock God

If you’ve ever picked up a guitar, chances are one of the first things you learned to strum was the chord progression to the White Stripes “Seven Nation Army.” This is largely thanks to Jack White and his innate ability to take something so simple and turn it into a global phenomenon. His jet-black unkept hair, loud guitar riffs, and unyielding devotion to the old way of producing music separate him from the rest. He may have started out as an altar boy with a knack for his brother’s old instruments, but he has grown into one of the most revered musicians of our generation. This is Jack White.

Believe it or not, his first instrument wasn’t the guitar.

A Not So Ordinary Childhood

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Photo Credit: Ian Gavan / Stringer

Jack White was born John Anthony Gillis on July 9, 1975, in Detroit Michigan. He was the youngest of ten children born into a working-class family. Raised in a devout Catholic household, he found himself gravitating towards religion and developed a deep spiritual connection.

As a child, he served as an altar boy and even considered going to seminary school to pursue what he thought was a spiritual calling to become a priest. White recalls this feeling and notes that “Blues singers and people who are singing on stage have the same feelings and emotions that someone who is called to be a priest might have.”