About the Song:
Jack Gillis, a singer/songwriter and musician, and drummer Meg White married in 1996. He changed his last name to White and they formed the White Stripes a year later. The Detroit-based, garage-rock duo released a couple of singles and then a self-titled debut in 1999. That album and its 2000 follow-up, De Stilj, failed to make a dent on the U.S. charts, although both would eventually reach 300,000 in sales.
The two divorced in 2000, but kept the group together. A year later, their third album, White Blood Cells, proved to be their breakthrough. The album would sell more than a million copies in the U.S. and reach #61. In the UK, it got to #55 and sold more than 300,000 copies. It was the second single, “Fell in Love with a Girl,” which introduced the band to American audiences. However, in the UK, it was the first single, “Hotel Yorba,” which proved to be the band’s opening salvo.
The song was written about an actual hotel built in 1926 in Detroit. WK It was located in a run-down section in the southwestern part of the city at 4020 Lafayette Boulevard near a bus station. SF As a child, Jack heard rumors – which proved to be false – that the Beatles had stayed at the hotel. WK
Jack White first performed the song, which was inspired by Woody Guthrie, with hs band Two Star Tabernacle in 1998. SF Jack said Woody “wanted his songs to make people happy and make them feel good about themselves…I think ‘Hotel Yorba’ is definitely in that category.” SF The White Stripes recorded the song at the hotel in room 206 and later wanted to film the video – their first – at the hotel. According to Jack, they tried filming inside the hotel without permission, which got him banned for life. SF They ended up shooting much of the video outside the hotel.
First posted 7/26/2022.
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