The White Stripes make some furious records, but Jack White needs to learn to control his anger offstage. So ruled a Detroit judge on Tuesday, as White pleaded guilty to assault and battery over a December club brawl with Von Bondies frontman Jason Stollsteimer. According to the Associated Press, White avoided jail time with his misdemeanor plea and was ordered instead to pay a $500 fine and $250 in court costs, to avoid contacting Stollsteimer, and to attend anger management classes.
The fight brought to the surface a long-simmering disagreement between the two singers over White's production of the Von Bondies' first album, the aptly titled ''Lack of Communication.'' In court on Tuesday, White said he'd heard that Stollsteimer had been dissing him in print and to mutual friends. When he encountered Stollsteimer at the Magic Stick club at Detroit's Majestic Theater Center on Dec. 13, ''I went up to ask him to say it to me face to face,'' White recalled. Blows were exchanged, with Stollsheimer briefly hospitalized for a swollen eye. He told police that White had punched him in the face seven times, while White told police he'd hit Stollsteimer in self-defense.
Outside the court, White issued a statement, saying: ''I regret allowing myself to be provoked to the point of getting into a fistfight.'' As for Stollsteimer, he probably would rather have spent the day focusing on Tuesday's release of ''Pawn Shoppe Heart,'' the Von Bondies' major label debut.