White Stripes Tour Stripped?

By | July 15, 2003 at 12:00 AM

White, the rock duo’s 27-year-old guitarist/singer, sustained a broken left index finger in a car crash Wednesday in his native Detroit, a band publicist confirms.

Details of the crash were sketchy. Detroit police said they had no report on the accident. A flack for the White Stripes knew only of the location (Detroit), the broken finger (one) and the time of the accident (1 p.m.).

According to the Detroit News, White suffered the tough break, described as a compound fracture, when the car he was riding in was struck by another.

Reports that White Stripe fan Renée Zellweger was in White’s car at the time of the crash could not be confirmed by the band’s publicity firm. A call to Zellweger’s rep was not immediately returned Monday. For what it’s worth, the reports said that Zellweger, romantically linked with White since June, was unhurt.

The White Stripes, not to be confused with “the”-titled “It” bands, the Hives and the Strokes, are scheduled to begin playing a series of U.S. dates Saturday in Rhode Island.

A decision on whether that date, and others, will be kept is due Monday, the band’s flack said. The banged-up White, the rep said, feels good. Presumably, he’ll feel better if doctors say he’s clear to rock out.

The Stripes, late of the best-selling album, Elephant, have something of an elephantine schedule ahead of them. Through mid-August, they’re to storm the United States and Canada. In late August, they wing it to England for a pair of festivals. And in September, they’re back in the States, commanding venues such as Los Angeles’ Greek Theater.

Assuming, of course, the finger cooperates.

Already the dinged digit has cost the band the chance to front a pair of U.K. rock-a-ramas-Scotland’s T in the Park, held Saturday, and Ireland’s Witness Festival, held Sunday.

During at least one of the festivals, T in the Park, the Stripes were there in props, if not in person. British music site NME.com reports the stage, held by hastily enlisted headliner the Flaming Lips (“She Don’t Use Jelly”), was decked out in the band’s beloved red-and-white color scheme.

The White Stripes are comprised of Jack and Meg White, who is either Jack White’s ex-wife or sister, depending on which chain they feel like yanking. One thing that’s for sure: She’s the drummer.

The Jack White-Renée Zellweger connection presumably goes back to the set of Cold Mountain, the Civil War-era drama in which Zellweger stars and White makes his big-screen debut. The movie is due out at Christmas.

With or without White, Zellweger, 34, seems hooked on the rock-star life, recently signing to star in a long-delayed biopic about 1960s icon Janis Joplin.

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