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Rock Hall exec talks The White Stripes’ case for induction: “They just wrote great songs”

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Courtesy Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

They’ve been to Wichita and now The White Stripes may be entering the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The “Seven Nation Army” rockers, made up of Jack and Meg White, are among the nominees to be inducted into the institution in 2023. Having released their first single 25 years ago in 1998, the Stripes are Rock Hall nominees in their first year of eligibility.

Speaking to ABC Audio about The White Stripes’ case for induction, the Rock Hall’s Jason Hanley says, “Jack White has always been about just stripping things back down to the basics.”

“He goes back to the heart of blues and rhythm & blues that was there from the beginning of rock ‘n’ roll,” Hanley explains. “He connected that along with Meg White with this incredibly dynamic imagery … the red, black and white, just the two of them, the drums and guitar, the rhythm and the melody. And they just wrote great songs.”

Hanley also feels that the timing of The White Stripes’ breakout in a “post 9/11 world” was significant.

“People were just kind of going back to the basics of looking for something to reconnect to,” he says. “I think The White Stripes really filled that, and, man, how influential has that sound been on so many other artists since then?”

The White Stripes are also the first band from the “rock revival” scene of the 2000s to be a Rock Hall nominee. Hanley feels their nod may lead to more recognition of “21st century developments,” naming bands including The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Black Keys.

“I think we’re gonna see a lot of that, potentially, coming up,” Hanley says.

The 2023 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees will be announced in May.

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