File The White Stripes under "awesome bands I'll never see live": the rock duo today announced that after more than a decade and six albums together, they're going their separate ways.
In an announcement posted online, the band says it has "officially ended and will make no further new recordings or perform live."
Jack and Meg White formed The White Stripes in 1997, and initially became known primarily for the mystery that surrounded the two of them—long rumored to be siblings, they were actually husband and wife before their subsequent divorce. They produced a number of hits such as "Fell in Love With a Girl" and "Seven Nation Army," and generally kicked a whole lot of black, white, and red-all-over ass.
The breakup isn't entirely unexpected, as The Stripes haven't performed much in recent years. Their 2007 Icky Thump tour was cut short when drummer Meg White began suffering from what was described as "acute anxiety problems," which left her unable to travel. Meanwhile, Jack White has been devoting much of his focus to side projects, including bands The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather.
Speaking to The Times in 2010, Jack White expressed interest in resuming White Stripes duties with Meg again, saying, "I would like to. I don't think her anxiety exists anymore. But I don't know."
Their band's statement makes it clear they're not citing any particular reason for the split other than the desire to move on:
The reason is not due to artistic differences or lack of wanting to continue, nor any health issues as both Meg and Jack are feeling fine and in good health. It is for a myriad of reasons, but mostly to preserve what is beautiful and special about the band and have it stay that way.
No new recordings are in the works, but the duo urges fans not to fret—unreleased tracks are forthcoming. Plus, the music now belongs to the world, although I'm guessing that doesn't extend to, say, unpaid Glee covers or whatever.
The White Stripes do not belong to Meg and Jack anymore. The White Stripes belong to you now and you can do with it whatever you want. The beauty of art and music is that it can last forever if people want it to.
Are you sorry to hear about this musical breakup?
Image via Flickr/John Antoni Griffiths