We know this isn't technically media coverage, but it is a scoop of sorts, and we feel it is our duty to bring it to you, because it's awesome: White Stripes frontman Jack White is related to bad-boy Canadian fiddler Ashley MacIsaac! And other Canadian fiddler Natalie MacMaster! And more people whose last names start with "Mac"! Seriously, if you know anything about Canadia, this is sort of hilarious.Per the Globe & Mail:
[N]ot only is White -- born John Anthony Gillis in Detroit in July, 1975 -- related to the MacIsaacs and MacMasters, he's a third cousin to hockey star Al MacInnis, a Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup winner with the Calgary Flames in the late 1980s.
If he were related to Sir John A. MacDonald that would really be mind-blowing, but we'll take what we can get.Still with us? Per the Globe, all this came out last week when the White Stripes announced that they'd be taking their Canadian summer tour to promote upcoming album "Icky Thump" to eensy Glace Bay on Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Island; the bloodline was confirmed "by Antigonish lawyer Daniel J. MacIsaac, 56, who's a cousin to Ashley and (yes!) a first cousin once removed to Mr. White Stripe himself." (For the unschooled, Antigonish is a town — and a county! — in Nova Scotia, aka "The Highland Heart of Nova Scotia"). Here's how it breaks down:
Jack White is a fourth cousin to Natalie MacMaster, a third cousin once removed to Buddy MacMaster, Natalie's father and "the dean of Atlantic fiddlers," and a double fourth cousin to Ashley MacIsaac. According to Daniel MacIsaac, Jack White's grandmother (and Daniel MacIsaac's aunt), Florence MacIsaac, was born in Nova Scotia in 1896 and later married a man named Frank Gillis with whom she established a home in Sydney Mines to raise a family that eventually included two girls and four sons. Times were tough in Nova Scotia, however, and in 1924 the Gillises moved to Detroit. Three years later, Florence Gillis gave birth to a boy, Gorman, who 48 years later fathered Jack White.
The MacMaster connection, in the meantime, comes courtesy of Florence's grandfather, John MacIsaac, who had a sister named Sarah "who married into the MacMaster clan." And as for Ashley MacIsaac, he is descended from Hector MacIsaac, a brother of John.
Said MacIsaac (Daniel, that is, of the Antigonish MacIsaacs): "I think we should really welcome Jack White as a Canadian son." ETP agrees!!!!
We are justifying posting this non-media story for two reasons: (1) Admit it, as if you knew; (2) You know you secretly love fiddling; (3) You may recall Ashley MacIsaac from when he flashed the contents of his kilt on Conan O'Brien in 1997; (4) Seriously, Ashley MacIsaac is nuts; (5) we have it on pretty good authority that Jack White's wife Karen Elson left her magazine-publisher boyfriend to marry White in a canoe in Brazil. There you go, media blind item. Also, (6) this is some ETP original photography, taken at the October 2002 surprise concert in Union Square, right after they pulled the plug on the sound and White leaned into the crowd to finish "Boll Weevil" anyway. Fun fact: We submitted this to Us Weekly afterwards because we thought he looked a lot like Meg Ryan. We know you totally think so too.
Jack White Is Related To Ashley MacIsaac [Globe & Mail]
White Stripes Sell Out Whitehorse In Minutes [Globe & Mail]
"Hey Globe And Mail, If You Like The White Stripes So Much Why Don't You Marry Them?" [G&M comments]
Sex, Drugs And Fiddling [New Yorker]