White Stripes declare war on the U.S. Air Force Reserve

The White Stripes are fuming over a U.S. Air Force Reserve ad that aired during the Super Bowl, which they say used a re-recorded instrumental version of their breakout single “Fell in Love With a Girl” without permission. “The White Stripes take strong insult and objection to the Air Force Reserve presenting this advertisement with the implication that we licensed one of our songs to encourage recruitment during a war that we do not support,” the band says in a statement posted on their official site. The statement goes on to threaten “strong action to stop the ad containing this music.” As of this afternoon, the Air Force Reserve has already pulled the ad from the Web. (UPDATE: The ad has reappeared online.)

We’ve reached out to the Air Force Reserve and the White Stripes for further comment. In the meantime, you can watch the Stripes’ “Fell in Love With a Girl” video below. Did you see the ad in question when it aired on Sunday? What do you think of this controversy?

More on this story:
White Stripes vs. U.S. Air Force Reserve ad: Who’s to blame?
White Stripes/Air Force ad musician addresses controversy: “It’s my responsibility”

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Comments (41 total) Add your comment
  • skiiboski

    White Stripes = Osama? Discuss.

    • hootie

      Huh? The terrorists next weapon is copyright law?

      • Oh the Fe-y

        You mean the White Stripes are strong enough to take down the U.S., vis-a-vis the Air Force?

        I’m lost. I don’t get it.

    • Chaz Winterbottom

      I think that what Skiiboski means, and it should be obvious, is that Osama put on some holiday weight and that it might be a good idea if he wore some clothes with white stripes to…you know…make a slimming effect.

      • henry

        ^ win

  • Ellipsian

    Just because the Stripes don’t believe in the AFR using their song to recruit doesn’t mean that they don’t support the troops already within the armed forces. Those are two completely separate issues; don’t let anyone get it twisted.

    • JAM

      no where in the article did it say they support the troops

      • hc

        no where in the article did it say they didn’t support the troops.

      • 333

        http://whitestripes.com/ You can see their response there. “THE WHITE STRIPES SUPPORT THIS NATION’S MILITARY AT HOME AND DURING TIMES WHEN OUR COUNTRY NEEDS AND DEPENDS ON THEM.” Get your facts straight, or at least get facts.

      • JAM

        oh i see it now 333, we don’t depend on our military to keep terror out of the US so it’s ok this time. i got it now.

  • JAM

    Isn’t is so nice that men and women died to provide the freedom for the White Stripes to not support a rerecorded version of a song they did to encourage people to emlist and protect their freedom to not support a rerecorded version of a song they did to encourage people to enlist and protect their freedom to …. so, Jack White supports Al Queda

    • Angela

      Just because someone doesn’t support the war doesn’t mean they support the enemy. This is a ridiculous statement. The same people who died to provide freedom died to protect freedom of speech. They died to protect a country with a constitution that promotes “the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” I’m proud that this country protects artists from having their music stolen and aired on an advertisement. Would you be as mad if a car company or shoe company had re-recorded the song? Probably not, but it would still be just as wrong.

    • Fatima

      Most nonsensical comment of the day goes to….

    • Billy

      Blah blah blah they died to protect our freedoms blah blah blah

      • Chaz Winterbottom

        Hey do you all remember when Bush let freedom reign? Christ that was awesome! Let’s rerecord that!

    • Michael Raines

      If you actually read the statement you would know that they said they support the troops but do not support the war. They are breaking the law by stealing that song, regardless of what the ad is for.

    • Nick T

      They’re not American.

  • Phionaugh

    I’m just here to say that Jack White looks like a woman. A very, very, very pretty woman.

    • Von Raschke’s Claw

      Senator Craig, is that you?

      • John

        Chris, you’re the idiot plus you cannot read. The US Military did not violate anyones copyright. They hired an advertising agency to do the ad and that agency said they never heard White Spripes music before. Better yet on your stupid comment about troops not having a choice about going to war. The US Military is on an all volunteer basis. I’m over here right now and almost all the troops I have met want to be here. They would rather fight this war here than in the streets of the USA. Unlike you and White Spripes they are true American Hero’s. I’d be willing to bet this is all about White Sprites looking to line their pockets at the goverments expense. You on the other hand need to get you facts straight before shooting off at the mouth.

  • Chris

    Jam – – You’re an idiot. Let’s walk through a couple things. For starters, the fact that the men and women in the armed forces fight for the freedom the White Stripes has does not mean that the U.S. Military should be able to violate copyright laws. As well, the fact that anyone doesn’t support the war doesn’t mean they don’t support the troops. I don’t support the war but I would not want any troops dying since a) they’re already there and b) they don’t have a choice about going to war. And now Jack White supports Al Queda? Just because he doesn’t want his songs in a commercial for a cause he doesn’t believe in? Just because the military couldn’t bother seeking permission? You’re almost too stupid to function.

    • is that you….


      • crispy

        Not me! I don’t even like the White Stripes!

      • is that you….

        Pheww…..for a second there, I thought your taste in music was slowly going south.

      • Fatima

        Now we’re insulting the White Stripes’ music? I hate the internet!

      • your name sucks

        yeah, Fatima! We must all like the same music. We must all eat the same food. We must all be the same. Freedom of choice is horrible, ain’t it?

      • Fatima

        Wow, that’s exactly what I said. I think a statement as hyperbolic as “I hate the internet” should have let you know there was a joking tone to what I wrote. The two up there picking on the White Stripes as if they were lame when I feel like they’re one of the few universally loved and acclaimed bands did make me chuckle though. Shows that no one is safe on a message board.

        And is “Your name sucks” what you always use or was it just a mean attack on me?

      • crispy

        I wasn’t insulting them! Just not my type of music. Too jangly. “Icky Thump” does have a killer bassline though.

      • your name sucks

        Def not a mean attack on you. I apologize for not getting your comment.

        Can we be frensies even if I am not a fan of the White Stripes?

  • Jill

    What do you mean they don’t have a choice. Our military is all volunteer. If they didn’t want to fight for freedom or go to war, they should’ve not joined the military.

    • Von Raschke’s Claw

      I thought they were fighting for Halliburton.

  • DieHardFan

    Jam: I agree with Chris. But I give you credit for being absolutely ridiculous…Also, on the website, the White Stripes say they DO support the troops, just not the uncompromising war…The idea that the air force reserve and Army commercials need to use what is usually mainstream rock/”alternative” bands to support their mission is pretty sick. It gives impressionable youth the idea that war is just like that–a fantasy like ideal, like what would be seen in a video game. So, yes, I guess The White Stripes are simply being “nice” for being realistic and honest in the way in which they were unfairly exploited. Anyway, back to life…

    • JAM

      Ridiculous is what I was shooting for. My post isn’t supposed to make any sense but it does point out how passionate people are about their opinions. Die Hard is right about the Air Force using the music but think, the majority of those who enlist don’t do it becasue of a tune. Some of the reasons people enlist, looking for better options then their current nieghborhood, education funding, they believe in freedom and pretecting Jack White’s and every other ‘artist’ god given right to oppsose the use of their ‘art’ in recruiting. Listen people, the whole thing stinks of double standards on both the side of the air force and the government, neither have any right to be even remotely involved in the opher. If the artists would only stick to art. No more artists at conventions, no more political speeches at a concert. Plus look at the controversy I stirred up with my eneducated comment, (in a Mr. Burns voice) excellent!

  • ia

    It’s all about asking permission to use an artist’s music, art, words, etc. And since the AIR FORCE RESERVE didn’t ask for permission, yes, it’s a question of that…THE WHITE STRIPES’ song IS NOT
    public domain. They have a right to say “Cease & desist!” Go, WHITE STRIPES!

  • Jon

    It’s amazing the direction things can go in. And how anytime the military or government is mentioned people get super-defensive and insult everything in sight (not to mention start blasting their Unpatriotic shotgun in all directions). It’s pretty simple… the White Stripes didn’t want their fans, or anyone else who recognized the song, to think they licensed their music knowing it was going to be used for such an ad. The fact that it’s an Air Forced ad is really irrelevant. If it had been encouraging people to see a Joan Rivers documentary, it would have been the exact same thing. Their music being in the commercial implied they supported what was being shown. So they announced the music was being used without their permission. End. Of. Story.

  • LOL

    Nobody F’s with Jack White and gets away with it.

    • Feiss

      True, because the first thing I think about when I think about Jack White is how manly and macho he is.

    • JAM

      You ever notice the White Stripes site is all Black, Red and white? Ever think about what evil symbol shares the same base colors?

      • earlybird

        did you just insinuate that the white stripes are nazi’s? There color scheme is based on the De Stijl dutch art movement from the early 20th century.

  • miley

    feels like a dixie chicks ordeal part 2… not being pro war doesn make you a supporter of terror folks, just an american with an opinion… yet if you are ignorant enough to make that liason out of midair, you need more help than anything i can say would even begin to offer…good luck with that one

  • MisterDave

    Pirating a copy of a white stripes song to recruit fighters. Piracy supports terrorism, in many ways!

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