Rules are made to be broken – according to Jack White mega fan Bill Reiser.
The 47-year-old from Monroe turned out to wait in line shortly after 4 a.m. at Oak Park’s Street Corner Music — one of just two locations where fans could get tickets for White’s added show next month. About 150 fans were in line at just before the sale began at noon.
After online tickets for the Detroit native and former White Stripes frontman’s evening show were gone in minutes, at the Scottish Rite Theater at the Masonic Temple in Detroit.
With the exclusive opportunity came a plethora of rules to ensure that tickets went to local fans in an orderly manner. One of those rules said that fans couldn’t line up before 8 a.m., but Reiser is veteran of sorts when it comes to this type of thing.
“Back in the day, this is what we did,” he said nearly eight hours into waiting in line, “before everything got computerized.”
With him was friend Karen Edwards from Clawson, who was there for moral support mainly, she said. While the 38-year-old said she’s definitely a Jack White fan, too, she only showed up around 10:45 a.m. to stand in the cold, windy weather for tickets.
“I just brought the hot coffee," she said with a laugh. Edwards said that while she was going to the show as well, they were only buying two tickets together, rather than each taking advantage of the two-ticket per person allowance.
And they made sure all 150-plus people in the line behind them knew that when Edwards strolled in just more than an hour before doors opened.
“We would have been attacked if she cut (to get extra tickets),” Reiser said chuckling.
Fans from near and far
Reiser wasn’t the fan who started his day the earliest though. Rather, it was Christina Condor and her 21-year-old son Maxx Trevino, who journeyed from Cleveland to get tickets.
Condor, 46, found out on Facebook that a new show had been added and tickets could only be purchased in Royal Oak and Oak Park, after she wasn’t able to buy tickets for White’s first show when they were sold online.
So, she did what any fan would do.
“She called me yesterday in Akron and said ‘We’re going to Detroit and we leave at 3 a.m.,’” Trevino said. He said it was his mom who recently introduced him to Jack White and White Stripes. She’s been a longtime fan, but never got the chance to see him live, she explained.
“I was never lucky enough to actually get tickets,” she said.
Until now, that is.
Condor and Trevino said the trip was well worth it to see Jack White live and support a great artist. “We respect him as a musician. He does a lot of stuff for his fans,” Trevino said. “Just like this.”
One lucky connection
Street Corner Music co-owner Mike Rome said the shop is known for its anti-TicketMaster promotions of shows, selling tickets to local fans. It was co-owner Chris Flanagan, who knows someone from Third Man Records —the music label White founded in 2001— that was able to get special tickets like these.
“It was an old-fashioned record connection,” Rome said.
Street Corner Music had 700 tickets to sell and each person could buy up to two tickets, using cash only and with identification to make sure the tickets would be redeemed at the show by the original purchaser. The idea was to eliminate scalping, he explained.
Rome said people have been calling the last few days asking if it was true that they’d be selling tickets, “they couldn’t believe it,” he said. Fans from hours away were calling, and even local fans asking his advice on whether they would have better luck scoring tickets at his store of UHF in Royal Oak.
His answer was obvious, but also for practical reasons. “I told them, come here, we have a bigger parking lot.”
Rome said the day’s process went smoothly, with no brawls or any issues. Security arrived at 7 a.m. and guarded the line that stretched across multiple storefronts in the shopping complex until the doors opened at noon. Then, fans were let in 20 at a time.
As a fan of White and business owner, Rome said he was happy with the whole turnout. Not only will Rome be at the show next month, but he said it’s a great event for Street Corner Store, too.
“This is the first time (selling tickets) of this magnitude.”
Street Corner Music is also selling White’s debut solo album, “Blunderbuss,” released today.