Monday, December 10, 2012

It Might Get Loud - DVD

I love music & I love guitars. I love listening to music, playing music, learning about music, playing guitars, learning about guitars and learning about people who make music & play guitars. So, this DVD is definitely up my alley.

An interesting concept for a film - get together guitarists from three different generations and have them talk about what they've done, what got them started, and find out what they have in common. Not sure who choose the three, but there's Jimmy Page (Led Zep, natch), Jack White (White Stripes, of course) and, odd man out, "The Edge" (goofy name, which, according to this movie was some kind of dig at his haircut). I have never cared for U2 in the least - and I have tried since several friends have been fanatics - so his segments meant nothing to me, which is too bad as he probably has more air time than the other two (or maybe it just seems like it cuz I couldn't wait until he was off screen!).

Jimmy Page comes off as a true music lover to this day, who is still blown away as he listens to Link Wray's "Rumble" (grinning ear to ear as he does) and who loves sharing his music, whether it is on mandolin or acoustic guitar or whether it is blasting away at "Kashmir" and showing the other two the riffs. There are some wonderful early clips of Page - even him playing in his high school skiffle band! - and he walks through the estate where Led Zep 4 was recorded and explains a bit of the process.

Jack White is his own created character, but I can appreciate that as someone who thinks that musicians should have style as well as talent. His love for old sounds is obvious in his playing and also in his appreciation of the blues men who created the foundation of rock'n'roll. It is well known that Son House is one of hig biggest inspirations and he sits in rapt attention as he plays his vinyl album of House singing accapella. He even builds his own modern diddley-bow guitar in minutes for the camera and then plays it, making a wonderful cacophony through his fuzz and vintage gear.

The pairing of the three shows the contrasts in the styles - "The Edge" almost totally relies on effects, as he is a pretty mediocre guitarist, White plays in a very minimal and bluesy style, using old instruments and amps and pretty much just a Big Muff Pi fuzz box, and Page as the elder statesman who tried many different ways of getting new and exciting sounds while being an incredibly gifted player.

I'm not sure how this movie would translate for a non-musician, but I think that Page & White's enthusiasm is enthralling and would be enticing to anyone. I'm sure that U2 fans would appreciate seeing where the band first met & rehearsed and viewing some early clips, but it's White & Page that make it for me and who obviously have a chemistry together, since they have the same influences. When Page plays "Kashmir", White picks up on it almost immediately (even though Page has a different guitar tuning) and "The Edge" just seems lost. I understand wanting a contrast, but I think someone else would've been a better third party.

In any case, this is a fun overview of these cats and the interaction is cool and it is well worth the current discounted price.