Skip to main content
Arts & Entertainment

$15k donation from Jack White helps acclaimed Oakland recording studio after burglary

Singer, songwriter and guitarist John Vanderslice—founder of Tiny Telephone recording studio in Oakland—performs live on stage at Cambridge Junction on Feb. 25, 2020 in Cambridge, England. | Jim Bennett/Getty Images

Garage rock icon Jack White opened his heart—and his wallet—earlier this month to help Oakland's Tiny Telephone recording studio get back on its feet after burglars stole a veritable treasure trove of vintage instruments and other gear from the 26-year-old local music institution.

The studio, which got its start in San Francisco back in 1997, was founded by indie rocker John Vanderslice and eventually expanded to Oakland before shutting down its SF outpost in 2020.

After the burglary, Vanderslice took to the crowdfunding website GoFundMe to ask for help raising funds to replace the equipment—and to other social media outlets to ask the music community to be on the lookout for those who would try to fence the stolen gear, which includes all of the studio's guitars and basses, along with some valuable microphones.

Apparently word reached the White Stripes frontman and celebrated guitarist, because someone by the name of Jack White donated $15,000 to the studio's fundraising campaign yesterday.

Though The Standard cannot confirm that this was the Jack White with absolute certainty, Vanderslice made a Facebook post that seems to indicate it was, indeed, the author of such hit songs as "Seven Nation Army."

"thank you @officialjackwhite. this is so fucking sick!! we love you!!!!!!!!" Vanderslice wrote.

Someone named Bob Mould also made a donation to the campaign in the amount of $400. It's unclear if that is the same Mould of Hüsker Dü, but the famed indie rock guitarist has previously recorded material at Tiny Telephone studios.

Other well-known artists that have recorded at Tiny Telephone include Death Cab for Cutie, Sleater-Kinney and St. Vincent.