Credit: Nakagami

Revisit Meg White’s isolated drums on The White Stripes classic ‘Blue Orchid’

The male-dominated music industry has gendered certain instruments over a period of time. Drums is definitely one of the foremost which is considered, in an ageing stereotypical trope, to be a masculine instrument. While women have been playing drums since the time it was invented, many struggled to make a professional breakthrough due to the social stigmas associated with ideal gender-roles. Worse still, when they defied these imposed roles and set out to conquer the so-called “male territory,” they were tagged as “female drummers” or “women drummers.” However, they swamped all these labels under the over-pouring sound and the intoxicating energy of the drums, reclaiming their dream by advancing in their own rhythm.

Meg White was one such dreamer who, though a shy and introverted person, made herself heard through the loud beats of the drums. Her music career began out of a sudden impulse when her future bandmate Jack White heard her playing in 1997. The duo formed The White Stripes two months later and soon became the go-to garage band internationally.

The song ‘Blue Orchid’ was the duo’s first track from the album Get Behind Me Satan, released in June 2005 and was also shared as a single. The song is about the hardships of the new entertainment industry which Jack white found difficult to adjust to and hence longed for the classical golden era. The track was a commercial success topping the Canadian Singles chart and reached number 43 in the Billboard Hot 100. The music video, which became a fashion by that time, was directed by Floria Sigismondi, adding yet more strings to their expanding bow.

The music arrangement of the original track was heavily metallic produced by playing a guitar into an Electro-Harmonix creation along with the drums. When stripped off all the other instrumentations and the vocals, the drums are exactly how John Whites first described Meg’s style; minimalist and untrained. The lack of pompous words for Meg’s style however shouldn’t be seen as a libel. Her style suited the song perfectly and contributed to its enormous success.

Without wasting more time, let’s listen to Meg White’s isolated drums in the ‘Blue Orchid’ track.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Delivering curated content