On July 9, 2003 a few months after the release of The White Stripes biggest album “Elephant” Jack White was injured in car crash in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan. White was driving with his then girlfriend Renee Zellwegger when he claimed,
“This 75- to 80-year-old woman drove right out in the middle of the street, right in front of us, There was nothing I could do to get away from it. It was lucky that there was nobody seriously injured.”
After making sure Renee and the other driver were both OK, he realized he was the one who was in trouble.
“I looked down and saw my finger was just destroyed. I immediately thought, ‘That’s not going to be good, is it?.’ It was a multiple fracture which means it didn’t actually go through the skin but it shattered inside the finger. I can’t write, I can’t play piano, I can’t play guitar, I can’t do anything creative. I can’t even tie my shoes.”
White suffered a compound fracture to his left index finger which forced the band to pull out of headlining slots on two major European festivals. It also forced them to cancel their 26-date North American tour and some dates in Japan. About his injury White stated,
“I wasn’t too freaked out. I was OK with it. It was one of those things where your mind acclimatises to whatever the situation is. It just sort of upset me that I had to stop touring and I couldn’t write music or play guitar or piano.”
White, wanting to make sure that White Stripes fans knew that the reason for the cancellation was legit, posted this rather gory video of his finger surgery on whitestripes.com.
Despite the injury he still filmed the music video for “The Hardest Button To Button” with a cast on.
White not a fan of modern technology blamed the safety airbag in the car for his injury, he said,
“The airbag broke my finger when it deployed. Maybe I would have been better off without an airbag.”