Jack White aims for anonymity, gets a theatre named after him

Jack White remains committed to his roots. And Detroit is returning the favor.

Jack White, 37, has been pre-posthumously honored at Detroit's Masonic Temple

Jack White, 37, has been pre-posthumously honored at Detroit’s Masonic Temple

This week it was revealed that the at-one-time anonymous donor who paid $142,000 in back taxes for the Masonic Temple in Detroit, thus saving it from foreclosure, was White.

He’s the former White Stripes frontman who now runs Third Man Records and is at the helm of the Dead Weather and the Raconteurs.

According to The Press, Jack White practically grew up at the temple; his mom was an usher there. In addition, when the Stripes were at the top of their game, they played two sold-out shows at the temple in April 2003.

The temple gave the stage to legends MC5 and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. in 1968. Erykah Badu played there in February.

Detroit's Masonic Temple

Detroit’s Masonic Temple

The temple, which takes up a city block, is the world’s largest and holds three auditoriums, two ballrooms, a pool, a pool hall, bowling alley and more. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Last year, the temple’s future became in peril after acts such as Vince Neil started pulling out; the website mlive.com in December reported Neil, Great White, and rapper Lil Twist canceled amid financial difficulties at the temple.

According to Twist in a tweet: “They mula wasn’t right.”

After White’s nameless donation, a press release from the Masonic Temple Assocation then announced it would name its largest theater the Jack White Theater to thank him for his help.

” Jack’s donation could not have come at a better time and we are eternally grateful to him for it,” said Detroit Masonic Temple Association President Roger Sobran.

After  the press release, the Detroit Free Press picked it up, and Jack White was outed. Again. Diehard Stripes fans will note the newspaper announced White and drummer Meg were not actually brother and sister, as Jack White  claimed for several years early in the band’s history.  Their 1996 marriage was announced in 2001.

Jack and Meg

Jack and Meg in a lover’s waltz.

But I digress.

White donated the money anonymously. While I’m sure White appreciates the honor, he may have donated the money on the down-low for a reason. Instead, the spotlight is put squarely on him.

The act of naming a building or hall after someone often happens to people after they have died. Jack White, 37, barring any unforeseen and unfortunate circumstances, could live another 50 years. Will he regret donating the  money? My guess is no, but it may give him pause next time he wants to give back.

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