Jack White is a throwback to rock stars of old. He’s a journeyman with a handful of innovative bands and side projects on his resume: The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, his Third Man Records label, and producing for the likes of country legends Loretta Lynn and Wanda Jackson. You could call him a modern day Eric Clapton with the addition of an innovative music business sense. Now, at the SXSW festival that took place in Austin, Texas last week, White unveiled his latest creation. Unlike anything else he’s ever done, the Third Man Rolling Record Store is a travelling extension of the man himself on 4 wheels. With the initial appearance of some sort of demented ice cream truck painted to the hue of caution tape yellow and black it can drive cross country and bring music to the masses simultaneously.
This record store on wheels creation has the originality and uniqueness of just about anything the virtuoso White puts his stamp on. It allows fans to buy LP’s and 45’s from White’s Third Man Records, “exclusive to the truck” collectibles as their website calls them, and other accessories from t-shirts to tote bags. And while the travelling record store has vinyl spinning as it pulls up to a line of fans, this is not a feature that makes it a living, breathing music wagon. The truck also has the capabilities for musicians to plug right in and play live wherever it parks. This is done through a state of the art PA and multi channel amplifier system which makes possible roadside shows like the one White played for the Rolling Record Store’s debut at SXSW. White played Buddy Holly’s, “Not Fade Away” and his own White Stripes classic “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground” at the event which also featured a performance by Seasick Steve, whom White had just signed to Third Man Records for his next album.
While at SXSW, White talked at length with indie news outlet Pitchfork about his future plans for the rolling record plant. Specifically, this summer he would like to send it to Bonnaroo in Tennessee, Coachella in California, as well as car shows and state fairs as he puts it. White did not specify whether he would be at the helm of the truck for all of these events, but given his frontman mentality, it’s hard to believe he wouldn’t be keeping a close eye on Third Man’s version of the Batmobile by remaining at the helm. There are 2 weekend festivals in New Jersey this summer that could be possible pit stops for the Rolling Record Store: The Bamboozle at the Meadowlands on April 29 through May 1 or the Dave Matthews Band Caravan in Atlantic City on June 24-25.