The White Stripes Unearth First-Ever TV Performance: Watch

See "Apple Blossom"and "Death Letter" as debuted on Detroit public access


This month marks the 20th anniversary of De Stijl, the sophomore album from The White Stripes. In commemoration, Third Man Records is releasing a special version of the classic record that comes with exclusive tour footage from that era. Now, Jack White and Meg White have unearthed another treat from the past: their first-ever TV performance.

Filmed May 28th, 2000, just days before the official release of De Stijl, the small screen debut took place on Detroit’s public access TV show Backstage Pass. The musical gig saw the sweaty young garage rockers rattle through a pair of De Stijl songs, “Apple Blossom” and their cover of ’60s Son House track “Death Letter”. The program’s host also read a statement submitted by Jack: “A blues song is simple and raw and not polished, but it is perfect because it’s based on a simple idea.”

Raw and unpolished is a good way to describe the TV footage, as it’s a bit grainy à la a ’90s VHS tape. Even so, longtime fans will recognize the video as a piece of rock history, a preview of the impact The White Stripes would later have on music as a whole. Watch for yourself below.

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Head here for more information on Third Man’s special De Stijl anniversary package. Purchase the original remastered vinyl version of the album over here. For more old school footage of The White Stripes, Coachella recently shared a clip of them playing “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground” from 2003.

In other news, The Raconteurs just put out a new EP and documentary, Live at Electric Lady.


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