Jack White feels at complete ease performing at Madison Square Garden in front of 20,000 people, yet, when he was tasked with playing in the presence of his favourite Beatle in 2010, the guitarist found it a nerve-wracking experience.
The former White Stripes leader recently went viral after a video surfaced on social media that featured him naming songs by The Beatles on command after being played a series of short clips. It’s more than impressive, and within just 73-seconds, White demonstrates his credentials as a superfan of The Fab Four.
Despite that, White has been rather coy about speaking about his favourite tracks by the group or the specific album which means the most to him. However, thankfully, the ‘Lazaretto’ singer did once open up about his preferred member of The Beatles back in 2009.
“Paul is my favourite Beatle,” the guitarist told MTV News backstage at the Outside Lands Festival in 2009. “He’s been a big influence on me — especially the way that he sings.”
Explaining why he loves Macca so dearly, he added: “I heard a cover song they did early on called ‘Hippy Hippy Shake’ that Paul sang, and I loved how high he sang it. My voice isn’t comfortable in that higher range, but that song was a big influence on me trying to get my voice somewhere like that.”
The year after White made that glowing admission, he would finally meet his hero, and it was in the most opulent surroundings. While performing in front of McCartney is already daunting enough, these fears were heightened by the show being staged at The White House with President Obama in attendance.
Understandably, White was a quivering wreck, and for some reason, he decided to cover The Beatles’ ‘Mother Nature’s Son’, which was a mighty risk with Macca in the room. Thankfully, it was a beautiful tribute, and he even earned Paul’s seal of approval.
The former Beatle later remembered the evening, and said: “There was a rehearsal first of all in the afternoon, and I came in and Jack’s standing there, and I could see he was nervous, so I thought actually it would be good for them to have a rehearsal with me sat there.”
He added: “Get over the nerves, because it’s going to be worse – he’s going to be sitting there and Michele and the kids and then all the crowd. But I thought Jack’s performance was great, very sensitive.”
Watch his stunningly delicate take on ‘Mother Nature’s Son’ below.