Tonight, the White Stripes will appear on the final episode of Late Night in New York before host Conan O’Brien takes over The Tonight Show in Los Angeles. The gig marks the minimalistic duo’s first performance since they canceled a tour in 2007. What brought them out of hiding? Well, in addition to having a really good relationship with O’Brien, it probably helped that, as he told Rolling Stone, they offered the Stripes “a cash payment…It doesn’t happen often, but occasionally in show business you get exactly what you want. It’s the inverse of the Rolling Stones song.”
We’re partial to the belief they would have come out to support Conan even without buckets of monies. (Or, well, maybe fewer buckets.) The O’Brien/White Stripes BFF adventure began in the ’90s, when the three of them first met and hung out at some obscure Detroit bowling alley. Eventually, the White Stripes were invited to play a four-night residency on Late Night in 2003, and O’Brien appeared in the Stripes’ Michael Gondry-directed video “The Denial Twist.” But O’Brien says that having them play his show has always seemed like a organic match:
“Musically they’re beyond the pale, but there’s something else they have that fits,” he explains. “They’re very creative, and they’re very committed to altered reality. Our show has always existed in sort of a little bit of an alternate universe–we have puppets and bears and wizards standing up in the audience.”
Clearly, O’Brien should invite The Silent Years to play his reincarnation on The Tonight Show. They love wizards and patronuses, and they aren’t ashamed to admit it! Don’t be jealous, Meg and Jack. You’ll still be #1.