Jack White Reveals The Guitar Advice That Prince Gave Him

It’s no secret that Jack White is a huge Prince fan. White’s Third Man Records label is even slated to release Prince’s mythical Camille album — where Prince performs as his feminine alter ego — sometime this year. In fact, the first time White tried to buy one of the Camille album’s 25 copies on vinyl, he was outbid by Questlove. Prince nerds, amiright? But the geekery for White runs deep. Imagine if you’re one of the world’s premier guitarists and you happen to be sitting within an earshot of Prince, and The Purple One himself gives you some sage advice about the axe. That’s what happened to White once and he explained the encounter in a very thorough recent interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe.

The meeting happened at a concert where Zoë Kravitz had come to sing with The Citizens Band, the political cabaret project of White’s ex-wife Karen Elson. As the show began and the lights went down, someone bumped White and told him that Prince was siting right behind him and soon, the pair had a memorable exchange:

“He started talking about nobility,” White begins. “The phrase he had said to me was like, ‘No one is going to tell you how to play your guitar, Jack.’ And he talked about the James Bond song I had just done. And he said, ‘I really like it.’ And I said, ‘Oh, that’s great, because some people, it’s like making a song for Star Wars fans or something. You’re throwing yourself into the sea of it. It’s a very divisive track.’ And he goes, ‘Oh, I thought it was real strong.’”

White and Lowe break out in laughter at the punchline and move on. Considering White and Elson divorced in 2013, this exchange definitely happened before then. And White’s “Another Way To Die” theme song to Bond’s Quantum of Solace film came out in 2008. So if that was top of mind for Prince, this conversation likely went down in 2008 or 2009. And the rest, as they say, is guitar history. Watch the entire Zane Lowe interview with White below, the Prince story begins at around the 17:55 mark.