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Credit: Nakagami


Rare early footage of The White Stripes performing a thumping version of ‘Death Letter’


The White Stripes are an era-defining band. At a time when live music has been put on hold, we are taking a look at Jack and Meg White’s humble beginnings, back to a time before they became an arena-filling outfit with this glorious performance of ‘Death Letter’ from 2000.

Later this week marks 20 years to the day since the duo released their second album De Stijl. The record, which wasn’t a commercial success by any stretch of the imagination, arrived at a time when the band were still playing the toilet venue circuits. This would change after 2001 effort White Blood Cells, an album that would capture the attention of the masses who only had themselves to blame for sitting on the band for so long.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the record, Jack White’s Third Man Records are is putting out a special package to mark the birthday which includes a hardcover case, an archival booklet filled with previously unseen photos, flyers and more, a white LP and a red LP full of previously unreleased recordings and covers but most excitingly it features a DVD containing two performances from this period.

Third Man shared a clip of the White Stripes performing their cover of Son House’s ‘Death Letter’ at Jay’s Upstairs in Missoula, Montana, which was a track that featured on the album. The show took place 20 years ago almost exactly, on June 15, 2000.

Check out the footage of The White Stripes performing a thumping rendition of the ’60s blues number from the intimate venue just before their fortunes changed and they became one of the most celebrated artists of this era.