Back in October of 1998, Jack and Meg White unleashed their 2nd single as The White Stripes, “Lafayette Blues,” on 15 limited vinyl 45s sold after an early gig at Detroit’s Gold Dollar bar. As you might guess, Stripes fans and collectors alike have been dreaming of getting their hands on one of the über-rare, hand-painted records in the decade-plus that followed. “No one’s gonna buy it at the Gold Dollar for six dollars!” White recalled telling Ben Blackwell at the time (via CoS). Well, not only did all the Dave Buick (Italy Records) and Jack White-designed copies sell out immediately, but those lucky early fans were also making a pretty wise investment, it seems. Third Man Records’ Ben Swank reports:
The first copy to sell went for $800 back in 2003 and it’s been sky-rocketing ever since. Just recently I’ve had the pleasure of coordinating the sale of one of these singles for the stately sum of $18,000. Yes, you read that correctly…eighteen thousand United States dollars. This copy was painted by Mr. Buick and is pressed on especially swirly red/white vinyl.
Fortunately, while most of us don’t have that kind of dough to spend on rare vinyl, we can enjoy the recording itself — albeit on an inferior digital format. Hear “Lafayette Blues” and check out footage of Jack and Meg performing their first single, “Let’s Shake Hands,” at the Gold Dollar in ’99 after the jump.
The White Stripes – “Lafayette Blues”