Over the last couple of decades, Jack White went from fronting his cutesy Detroit two-piece, the White Stripes, to becoming a full-fledged multimedia music mogul in Nashville. It was a slow process, but as White steadily took on new musical projects, made massive financial commitments and founded a few large businesses, he gradually transformed from Motor City kitsch-master to the most culturally relevant Zorro-looking mofo of our time. White’s adventures are no longer limited to his own blistering blues, either. His independent label, Third Man Records, has grown exponentially over the past few years and is now considered one of the most respected boutique labels in the country.
He loved gunite, a spray-on concrete, because it meant instant gratification: He only had a certain amount of time to carve before it hardened. “He’d just start shooting, and the lizards and serpents would start coming out of the gunite,” says Knickmeyer. “Like in Turtle Park: He kind of had ideas, not dead specific, but he’d order the concrete anyway, and have the truck on its way before you even had the form set. He liked to be forced to act. “He wasn’t a perfectionist in the usual sense, with everything plumb and square and the joints perfect,” Knickmeyer adds. Bob liked things alive, organic, breathing, changing. He hated squares because they were too stable; he wanted the energy of curves, no dead ends or hard corners.