When Jack White Left A Singer With Swollen Eye And Bloody Nose In Fierce Altercation

Personal feuds are kind of essential to the fierce spirit of rock and roll. From the feud of longtime bandmates David Gilmour and Roger Waters to contemporary rivals, Oasis and Blur, it could be entertaining for the press and avid audiences to see two influential figures battling and annoying one another.

It surely makes great for the headlines, and some acts, we might say, even seem to enjoy the spotlight, embracing the old saying, ‘there’s no such thing as bad press.’ After all, it was Sid Vicious’ chaotic notoriety that turned him into a timeless punk icon since manager Malcolm MacLaren strongly believed that Sid’s problematic antics brought Sex Pistols commerciality… and he wasn’t wrong.

However, there were times when rockers took it too far, as in the case of Jack White we’ll be discussing now. I mean, it might make anyone wonder what made White so furious that even a ‘seven nation army’ couldn’t hold him back from brutally punching a fellow rocker who used to be a close friend and collaborator.

Well, it was exactly two decades ago when the former White Stripes frontman walked into a club in Detroit to celebrate an alt-country band, Blanche’s, record release. However, things came to a halt when White came across another rocker he had been feuding with… Von Bodies frontman Jason Stollsteimer.

Before we go into the fight, however, it might be only fair to explore why they feuded in the first place. Well, before the brutal confrontation took place in a Detroit nightclub, Jack and his bandmate, Meg White, faced another conflict. It was against their sound engineer, Jim Diamond, who claimed he had co-written a few songs on White Stripes’ first two records.

So, Diamond filed a lawsuit against the band, although the court dismissed the case shortly after. However, that feud didn’t end there, and Von Bodies‘ frontman got involved only to heat things up. Stollsteimer, like Jim, claimed that the engineer had a much more important role in their own debut album and was given lesser credit by producer White.

Things had been bitter between Jason and Jack since, so when they came across one another at the party, their innocent chat quickly heated up and ultimately turned into a fight where punches took the lead rather than words. White punched Stollsteimer quite a few times, and the pair fell down to the floor together while the White Stripes vocalist continued beating the other rocker before the fight was interrupted.

Pictures of Jason with a swollen eye and bloody nose surfaced the following day worldwide, and the press apparently enjoyed the altercation, announcing that Jack was charged with assault and had to take anger management classes. After the feud made it to the media in 2003, White preferred to stay silent, though he broke his silence for the first time in 2005.

The singer’s statements stated that the fight wasn’t one-sided, but the media enjoyed showing Jack as the guilty party. He continued by recalling how Jason also punched him right back and pulled his long hair, so he had to retaliate. White then complained about the pictures Stollsteimer sent to the press, discussing how an old friend profited from him for fame and money.

Jack’s word on the fight:

“The entire event was completely exploited by him, his band, and his managers and legal professionals. The two of us did have an argument, and I did spit at him. But what he doesn’t say is how he then grabbed me to pull me down and pulled out a good deal of my hair.

My retaliation was to hit him to get him off of me. Then he landed on my hand, which became cut on the broken glass underneath it. The whole thing lasted less than 10 seconds.”

In the end, however, Jack paid his dues by paying a fine of $500 for assault, took his anger management classes, and decided to move from Detroit to Nashville for a more peaceful life. On the other hand, Stollsteimer did gain recognition at the time for the feud, though it faded away quickly with the press moving on to the next great story.