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Guitarist Jack White stalks off N.Y. concert stage after 45 minutes

Jack White performs at the Hackney Weekend festival at Hackney Marshes in east London, June 23, 2012. REUTERS/Olivia Harris
Jack White performs at the Hackney Weekend festival at Hackney Marshes in east London, June 23, 2012. REUTERS/Olivia Harris

By Rob Cox

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Jack White didn't quite repeat the rock star meltdown by Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, but he did enrage fans by stalking off the stage just 45 minutes into his Saturday night concert at New York City's famed Radio City Music Hall.

The critically acclaimed guitarist behind the White Stripes and The Raconteurs - and now touring behind his solo record "Blunderbuss" - pulled the plug after 12 songs lasting just 45 minutes.

White, 37, thanked the crowd and exited stage right, leaving the sold-out venue chanting for more. The crowd's enthusiasm initially turned to perplexity as roadies removed White's guitars but transformed into anger as the curtain fell on the stage.

No official explanation was given for White's quick exit. While audience members had been told not to use their cellphone cameras, early in the concert White was seen exchanging words with someone video recording the concert from the seating area nearest the stage.

In between songs, White also seemed underwhelmed by the crowd response, at one point asking, "Jesus Christ, is this an NPR convention?"

Radio City security officials scrambled to barricade the stage door as angry concert goers crowded the exit and, once outside, banged on two parked tour buses. Other fans crowded the lobby to return t-shirts, records and other merchandise purchased ahead of the show.

Twitter lit up with complaints and theories about why White quit.

"Chatter about Jack White's abbreviated show at New York's Radio City Music Hall last night has officially lasted longer than the concert itself," noted Spin.com, the music website.

White's skill as a guitarist has enabled him to play with the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Jeff Beck, Alicia Keys and other well-known musicians.

His abrupt exit came a week after Green Day's Armstrong said he would seek substance abuse treatment after losing his temper at the iHeartRadio Festival in Las Vegas, culminating in an expletive-laced tirade followed by the smashing of his guitar. (Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Philip Barbara)

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