May 17, 2012 at 11:14 AM ET
Rocker Jack White believes he holds the world record for the shortest concert of all time, but Guinness World Records is refusing to recognize his accomplishment.
The musician told Interview magazine that back in 2007 he played a one-note show in Newfoundland, Canada. Video of the event shows that fans, who were in on the joke, were excited by the concept concert.
“We’d done this whole tour of Canada where we played in every province, and almost every day we would do a free show. I would decide each morning what kind of show we would do,” White told Interview. “So when we were in Newfoundland, the idea that I came up with at breakfast was, ‘Let’s play one note today’…I told [bandmate] Meg [White] as we were getting out of the car. I said, ‘Make sure you grab your cymbal — when you hit the cymbal, grab it so that the note only lasts a millisecond.’ I was thinking that afterwards we could contact the Guinness World Records people and see if we could get the record for shortest concert of all time. So we did it, but ultimately they turned us down.”
White, whose first solo project, “Blunderbuss,” debuted at No.1 on the U.K. Billboard charts in April, deemed the organization’s response to be “elitist,” and further remarked there was “nothing scientific” about the process.
He added, “They just have an office full of people who decide what is a record and what isn't…Most of the records in there – who has the biggest collection of salt-and-pepper shakers or whatever – are just whatever they want them to be. So with something like the shortest concert of all time, they didn't think whatever we did was interesting enough to make it a record.”
Guinness representatives gave their side of things to British music magazine NME on Wednesday, saying that White’s band did make the cut in their 2009 edition, but was later removed when the task of measuring such qualifications became cumbersome.
“Subsequent to this appearance, we received a large volume of applications from bands and performers seeking to beat this record. The ultimate results of this was individuals claiming that simply appearing on stage was enough to qualify them for this record,” representatives for Guinness World Records clarified. “The results were difficult to objectively measure (for example, how many members of the crowd need to be able to see the performer before they disappear off stage?), and as such, it's difficult to justify an appearance as a concert by any reasonable definition of the word.”
The records organization said they also felt competing to be shortest “trivialized” the nature of the activity.
Watch the video of the one-note concert. Do you think it should be in the record books? Tell us on Facebook.
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