Who Wants to Fill the World With Silly Rockstars?

Jack White unironically playing at the White House in 2010.

Jack White unironically playing at the White House in 2010.

by Gene Howington

Let me start by saying “What’s wrong with that? I’d like to know.” I’m a huge fan of Jack White. From The White Stripes to his solo and collaborative works, he’s one of the most interesting guitarists and songwriters going today. But his management company, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment (WME), has blacklisted the University of Oklahoma (OU). What was their egregious sin that merited saying their client would never play OU again? The Oklahoma Daily, the OU newspaper, published White’s contract with the university. The contract wasn’t a state secret and the paper obtained it via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. This isn’t an uncommon practice. There are whole web sites devoted to publishing the sometimes very strange riders that entertainers have on their contracts. What was the straw that broke the camel’s back?

They published Jack White’s guacamole recipe.

Oh the horror.

In the spirit of disclosure, as an alumni of the University of Kansas (KU) I can go along with pretty much any reason to blacklist OU. It’s Tuesday. Kitties are cute lil’ killers. If you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does. However, this is a little silly.

The contract was public knowledge. The disclosure as a basis for legal action? There is none. His guacamole recipe doesn’t rely on some Earth shattering trade secret. In fact, other than the size of it and the omission of a bit of cumin it is identical to my guacamole recipe. Perhaps realizing that this sounded silly on its face, WME also stated they were upset about the terms of the contract being made public. However, the $80,000 payday isn’t shocking for a performer of his popularity although one can understand in these times of budget cuts why the school newspaper headline read “Jack White concert costs OU over $80,000”. The rider provision that White’s favorite meal is a “New York strip steak, prepared medium, no sauce, with clean, steamed vegetables on the side” is easily done in a cattle state like Oklahoma. The demand that they wanted no bananas is peculiar but easy enough to wrangle. Normally I’d write this off as management acting weird but White addressed the disclosures at the show, telling the audience “Just because you can type it on your computer doesn’t make it right.”

Perhaps the no bananas rider was to limit competition.

I understand the desire for privacy in a world where privacy is becoming harder and harder to maintain and practically nonexistent if you are in the entertainment industry. It’s a very real concern and yes, Virginia, even entertainers deserve to have a private life. However, this seems to be the very portrait of tempest in a teapot and/or spoiled celebrity overreaction. I’ll grant that it could be clever PR, but consider that this kind of action essentially “crying wolf” diminishes other claims of legitimate media overreach like publishing photos of celebrities kids without permission or detailed “exposes” of what they do on vacation. Things that could actually cause them personal and professional harm are not in the same league of complaint as disclosing a guacamole recipe. If it’s a good recipe, sharing it does no harm and spreads happiness to the avocado aficionados of the world. So to my much loved and appreciated rock auteur Jack White, I have to say, “Really, man.  Get a grip.  Lighten up, Francis. It’s only rock and roll guacamole and I like it.”

What do you think?

Running the risk of ruining any non-existent chance FFS has of getting an exclusive Jack White interview, I relay said guacamole recipe. If you want to make my recipe, cut this in half, substitute red onion for yellow and add 1/2 tsp. of cumin.

Guacamole, Jack White Style

8 x large, ripe Haas avocados (cut in half the long way, remove the pit – SAVE THE PITS THOUGH – and dice into large cube with a butter knife. 3 or 4 slits down, 3 or 4 slits across. You’ll scoop out the chunks with a spoon, careful to maintain the avocado in fairly large chunks).

4 x vine-ripened tomatoes (diced)

1/2 yellow onion (finely chopped)

1 x full bunch cilantro (chopped)

4 x Serrano peppers (de-veined and chopped)

1 x lime

Salt & pepper to taste.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, careful not to mash the avocados too much. We want it chunky. Once mixed and tested, add pits into guacamole and even out top with a spoon or spatula. Add 1/2 lime to top layer so you cover most of the surface with the juice. (The pits and the lime will keep it from browning prematurely.)  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until served. [. . .]

That being said, I don’t begrudge a little peculiar in my artists. I kind of expect it. So to show you why it might be a good idea to see Jack White or buy some of his music, I close this column with a small selection of favorites from YouTube.  Enjoy both the guacamole and the music.

Support live music.

Source(s): The Oklahoma Daily, YouTube

About Gene Howington

I write and do other stuff.
This entry was posted in Celebrity, Media, Music, United States, Weird News. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Who Wants to Fill the World With Silly Rockstars?

  1. Mike Spindell says:


    My younger daughter is a Jack White fan and recently attended his concert in NY, which she said was the best concert she’s seen. I trust her taste on musical matters. Being the old fart I am, I wasn’t aware of his music, but since her review I’m beginning to listen. He rocks, even if he might have let his fame get to his head.

  2. Inga says:

    I make my guacamole creamy, everything goes in the Ninja, except the some diced plum tomatoes. And I use a dollop of yogurt in it to add to the creaminess. I hope that doesn’t get me banned. 😳

  3. It’s a close call, Inga. :mrgreen:

    Personally I tend to like guacamole chunky, but I do make avocado “sauces” for other applications all the time. Never tried yogurt to smooth though. I usually use just a tad of regular OO or vegetable oil (depending on application). sometimes a little sour cream or crema fresca. Avocado is a great fruit, but like any local specialty, they keep all really good ones out in California. Eating them out there will spoil you. Florida ones are okay, but I really think the CA grown Haas is hard to beat. The closer to the tree the better.

  4. Actually, I had fresh guacamole with dinner last night and breakfast this morning making this a personally timely story indeed.

  5. Inga says:

    My guacamole also has a small clove of garlic in it. I occasionally use sour cream, but my yogurt is super thick as I let it drain for a very long time after making it and it’s made from whole milk. I never like avocados until I had had excellent guacamole at a Mexican friend’s party. Oh my god, I was hooked. The lime juice is a must, gives it a nice zing with the super rich fatty creaminess, but it’s the good fat.

  6. Slartibartfast says:

    I am outraged! There’s no garlic in that guacamole! What is the world coming to? I would also note that it could use some Tabasco (or Texas Pete’s) and that jalapeños work better than serranos.


    We’ll talk later about the cumin thing. That’s just weird.

  7. Slarti,

    I view the garlic as optional. Sometimes I do, most times I don’t, but the Serrano is a no compromise ingredient. They are a more consistently and generally hotter pepper than the jalapeno (which can vary from mild as a bell pepper to hot-ish even within the same batch). The cumin isn’t enough to be overpowering, just a subtle background. I wouldn’t use it at all if using garlic as the garlic would tend to just knock it right out. That’s cumin trick I learned from a Mexican grandma, so if you want to argue about it, be prepared to argue in either Spanish or broken English and to lose no matter what you say to her about it, gringo. The first rule of Guacamole Club is Nana is always right. 😀

  8. blouise17 says:

    Garlic is a must!

  9. Inga,

    Little is more disappointing than guacamole without lime. Lemon will do in a pinch, but no citrus is simply not an option.

  10. Inga says:

    So if you use garlic and cumin in the same recipe the cumin flavor gets drowned out? No argument here, I’m going to experiment, that’s interesting.

  11. Inga,

    Yeah, especially if it is small strong garlic, but going so far as to make with something like elephant garlic (which is much milder, but not really garlic, a variety of leek) is an experiment I’ve never tried. Don’t get me wrong. I love me some garlic, but in this application I find the cumin provides a more consistent result. If the garlic in question is super strong, I find it can even interfere with the avocado and that is the star of the dish.

  12. blouise17 says:

    Ok, ok authentic guacamole doesn’t have garlic but I’m a scotsman and garlic wards off vampires so put it in everything but shortbread.

  13. I think you may have actually found an application for both garlic and shortbread that I find revolting, Blouise. 😀

  14. Inga says:

    Oh my. I’m going to have to be more suspicious of my garlic from here on in.😨

  15. Inga says:

    Me too Blouise, but now Gene has made me take a closer look at my garlic.

  16. Inga,

    Actually, most garlic is a varietal garlic, elephant garlic being the exception. It is the mildest of the three most commonly available in the US. American (white) is the strongest with Mexican and Italian (purple-ish striping) is milder and elephant garlic is mildest of all.

  17. Also, whole cloves is always milder than crushed or otherwise processed (more oils released). However, simply putting whole or crushed garlic in guacamole would be a bit too chunk style even for me. :mrgreen: Roasting it also mellows it out, but I’ve never tried roasted in guacamole nor would I be inclined to. That? Is good just spread on some good bread all by itself.

  18. Inga says:

    Yup, I’ve roasted whole heads of garlic and squeezed the sweetly mild contents in mashed potatoes. To die for.

  19. Elaine M. says:


    I often make my guacamole creamy too–when I use it as a topping for my chili and tacos. I definitely include garlic! I also use several slices of pickled jalapeño peppers–but no cumin. I add both lemon and lime juice. It may not be authentic…but people like it.

  20. Inga says:

    Elaine, what a good idea to use it instead of plain old sour cream for topping chili. Delicious! I make jalapeño corn bread with my chili, to keep it moist I add a can of creamed corn. The only way I would ever use creamed corned. Not at all authentic.

  21. Elaine M. says:


    Gotta have sour cream as a topping too!

  22. How about spinach & artichoke dip? This is my 2½ year old grandson two days ago making sure he does not miss a drop.

  23. blouise says:

    Roasting it also mellows it out … Gene

    I love roast garlic all by itself

  24. pete says:

    Here’s my guacamole recipe. Go outside pick all ugly ass green things off tree and fill large circular container and place beside street. Take chainsaw cut tree into small pieces and place beside container. Go back inside and make salsa. Enjoy.

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