Sometimes the internet discourse of the week is current, and sometimes it’s about something petty people on blogs were debating two decades ago. The discourse surrounding the ability of The White Stripes drummer Meg White was strangely reignited yesterday.
“The tragedy of the White Stripes is how great they would’ve been with a half decent drummer,” Twitter user Lachlan Markay commented in response to a tweet proclaiming the genius of the band’s enduring hit ‘Seven Nation Army’. Markay wasn’t done there, adding, “I’m sorry Meg White was terrible and no band is better for having sh*tty percussion.”
All hell then broke loose. Questlove, himself an extremely distinguished drummer, was among the most vocal backers of White’s ability.
meg white’s drumming is a rorschach test for how you feel about women musicians. unless you also hate all punk music, which was also basic on a technical level and that was the point and it slapped pic.twitter.com/mxi5ccu2wq
— Emily Suzanne Lever (@SnarlsDeGaulle) March 13, 2023
“I try to leave ‘troll views’ alone but this right here is out of line af,” he blasted. “Actually what is wrong w music is people choking the life out of music like an Instagram filter—trying to reach a high of music perfection that doesn’t even serve the song (or music).”
“Not enough people have discussed exactly why Meg White was a good drummer,” wrote Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Ruban Neilson. “My two cents are firstly: impeccable taste and cool. Secondly: elastic and intuitive sense of time. She felt what the audience wanted and played it. Very very rare in even the best drummers.”
“If you have doubts about Meg White’s drumming, you don’t know about music. That’s that. Next?” chastised Tim Burgess.
Australian artists also offered support. “If you’re dissing Meg White you fundamentally misunderstand what makes music good,” Ben Lee insisted.
Against Me! singer Laura Jane Grace, meanwhile, wrote: “Simplicity with soul will always be more impressive to me than technical virtuosity. People like to criticize drummers like Meg or Penny from Crass but literally no one can recreate their feel. And it’s always men who have this bad take.”
Even Jack White’s former wife, Karen Elson, showed her support with a revealing post. “Not only is Meg White a fantastic drummer, Jack also said the White Stripes would be nothing without her,” she wrote. “To the journalist who dissed her, keep my ex husband’s ex wife name out of your f*cking mouth.”
And as another popular Twitter post on the debate fairly pointed out Meg retired from music many years ago: “What do you even have to whine about now.”
If you’re dissing Meg White you fundamentally misunderstand what makes music good
— Ben Lee (@benleemusic) March 14, 2023
the most absurd thing about that guy resurrecting an ancient and stupid debate about meg white's drumming is that she gave away her drums and retired from music 14 years ago, what do you even have to whine about now
— Al Shipley (@alshipley) March 14, 2023
Keith Moon was the right drummer for The Who but
would've been wrong for The Beatles
Meg White was the right drummer for White Stripes
but would've been wrong for YES
She's being inducted into RHOF for being the drummer
an iconic band & that's all that matters RS
— Ron Sexsmith (@RonSexsmith) March 14, 2023
not enough people have discussed exactly why meg white was a good drummer. my two cents are firstly: impeccable taste and cool. secondly: elastic and intuitive sense of time. she felt what the audience wanted and played it. very very rare in even the best drummers
— UMO (@UMO) March 14, 2023
I try to leave “troll views” alone but this right here is out of line af. Actually what is wrong w music is people choking the life out of music like an Instagram filter—-trying to reach a high of music perfection that doesn’t even serve the song (or music) pic.twitter.com/hCj43qNpcG
— Plug 5. (@questlove) March 14, 2023