History made: The White Stripes 2003 NZ Tour

By Henrietta Harris

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The White Stripes play the Wellington Town Hall. Photo / Henrietta Harris
The White Stripes play the Wellington Town Hall. Photo / Henrietta Harris

In 2003 I was at art school and I was designing some gig posters for John Baker and helping him with Velvet Tiger shows he was putting on. Whirlwind Heat was playing a sideshow at Kings Arms with Mint Chicks a couple of days before their supporting slots for The White Stripes, and I did the poster for that one- my first ever gig poster.

The day of The White Stripes show, John called me to see if I had a video camera. He didn't really explain what for, but I went to my Grandad's and got one from him. John said to meet at The White Stripes' hotel at a certain time and then it turned out they were playing that day at Freemans Bay Primary. I filmed it and probably did a really crappy job - I didn't know what I was doing. I remember Brad Holland, the drummer from Whirlwind Heat, saw the camera and he was like, 'Whoa - analogue!' I didn't really know the difference between digital and film then.

I was a huge fan of The White Stripes and the show was really fun. It was a bit more special because I was helping out.

Lots of the kids didn't really know what was happening - they were almost indifferent. Some of them were dancing along, but lots of the children seemed to just be sitting there. The teachers were really excited, I remember that, getting things signed and the like.

After I filmed the show I was walking back to art school and I heard a beep and it was the band driving to soundcheck, and they asked me, 'Do you want a lift?' So I watched the soundcheck and got a free filled roll from the backstage catering. Jack was really friendly and he chatted and joked the whole time, but Meg didn't say anything.

The show that night was great, but I remember the Wellington Town Hall one a bit better because I went to flew to Wellington with everyone and my friend Aimee Egdell's band The Rainy Days opened for The White Stripes. It was cool seeing her play drums in such a huge venue, my Mum and brother came too and loved it. I took a couple of photos from the side of the stage, but the best one is in such a safe place. I can't for the life of me find it anywhere.

It was definitely a pleasure being part of such a great event with such charming people.

* The White Stripes new live DVD Under New Zealand Lights which features Henrietta Harris' recordings of their Freeman's Bay Primary School performance is available from Third Man Records as part of the 12th instalment of the Vault subscription series - orders close on Monday 30 April.

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