The Magic Castle, located in Hollywood, is a Victorian mansion built way back in 1908 that currently serves as a private clubhouse for the Academy of Magical Arts. In order to gain entrance into the Castle, you've got to be — or be invited by — an Academy member. And in order to become an Academy member, you've got to be a magician (or "a lover of the magic arts").
But it doesn't just stop there. Even if you are a magician, you've still got to be well-dressed. The Castle maintains a strict dress code: Sport coats and ties for men, eveningwear — "cocktail dresses or pantsuits," according to the Web site — for the ladies. Sneakers and jeans are not allowed.
Point being, not just anyone can wander in off the street. Unless, of course, you're Jack or Meg White. Then not only can you saunter in unannounced, you can shoot a whole music video there, and bring along a bunch of little kids as extras, too. And you probably don't even have to wear a pantsuit.
On July 26 and 27, the Stripes and a lot of their little pals took over the Magic Castle to shoot a 1940s-inspired video for "My Doorbell," the second single off Get Behind Me Satan. Working with the Malloys (Black Eyed Peas' "Don't Phunk With My Heart," Jack Johnson's "Sitting, Waiting, Wishing"), the Stripes were decked out in thick, pinstriped suits and performed in the Castle's "Parlour of Prestidigitation" for a somewhat captive audience of 2- to 6-year-olds, some of whom actually joined the band onstage.
"There were a bunch of little kids playing with Jack. He'd be playing on the piano while one or two kids would be trying to play the upright bass, then they'd switch and he'd take over on the bass," Magic Castle manager Michael Gingras laughed. "There were little kids running all throughout my club all day long. They even turned one of my 100-year-old bars into a snack bar for all the kids. There was popcorn and candy everywhere."
The Stripes finished filming the black-and-white clip one day before they kicked off their North American tour in support of Satan with a rare small-venue show at the Glass House in Pomona (see " White Stripes Get Behind Satan With North American Tour "). And despite the band's somewhat mystic leanings as of late — witness Jack's truly magical moustache in their spooky video for "Blue Orchid" (see "White Stripes' Jack, In Black, Gets Satanic In 'Orchid' Video ") — Gingras said the Stripes failed to take any inspiration from their surroundings: Sadly, the "Doorbell" video features absolutely no magic.
"No, there's no magic performed in the video, as far as I know. There is a puppet show in it though," Gingras said. "But it's not like Jack and Meg didn't love the Castle. After shooting was over, I invited them to come back into the club for a cocktail. And they obliged."