Jack White played his new single Lazaretto for a couple of hundred fans on Record Store Day, and four hours later a copy of the performance was available on a limited run of vinyl.
The singer and guitarist called Saturday’s feat the “world’s fastest-released record”.
But don’t look for it in the book of Guinness World Records, as White admitted he doesn’t know if anyone else has tried it. The stunt was a promotion for the annual day celebrating record stores and for his upcoming album, also called Lazaretto.
White performed on Saturday morning at his Third Man Records label. As he was playing, fans could watch on television the acetate record being cut in a room behind the stage. He also recorded a cover of Elvis Presley’s Power of My Love, which was the B-side on the record. The master was then hurried over to the United Record Pressing plant, also in Nashville.
After the recording was finished, White played a short set of fan favourites, including Hotel Yorba, along with songs from his new album, which will be released in June. White will be touring in the months ahead, including headlining gigs at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Tennessee, and the Glastonbury Festival in England.
White said he was worried about so many things that could have gone wrong in the recording or pressing process that would have stalled the record.
“We had a horrible moment last night about 11pm where the record cutter, the cutting mechanism blew up,” White said. “So the only other cutter we had that we could use that was in town was a mono head, so we actually cut this single in mono, which I think is actually even cooler than the way we were gonna do it.”
Three hours and fifty-five minutes after the performance, White was back at the store, waving high over his head the first copies of the vinyl, which were sold to eager fans who were waiting in line.
“I think for a while there a few years ago it was starting to become a joke in music that record stores don’t exist anymore,” White said. “But I think the people that have always been real music lovers have always been there.”
White, who is behind such bands as The White Stripes, The Dead Weather and The Raconteurs, also works as a producer and heads Third Man Records label. He said people are coming back around to buying music from record stores.
“Thank the mom-and-pop, brick-and-mortar record stores all these years for staying alive, the ones that could,” White said. “Now it’s bigger than ever. Every neighbourhood wants to have one.”