7/29/10

It Might Get Loud (2008)

Jimmy Page, The Edge, Jack White

Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth)

From IMDB: A documentary on the electric guitar from the point of view of three significant rock musicians: the Edge, Jimmy Page and Jack White.

How much do I love The Edge? Let me count the ways. Have ever told you about the time I nearly knocked him over while climbing on stage during a U2 concert? He invited me up. The roadies needed to give me a boost because the stage was so tall. When I stood, I was slightly off balance. The Edge had to spin out of the way to keep from smacking me with the neck of his guitar. This was all while he was playing "Mysterious Ways." May 10, 2001--best night ever.

So of course I would be interested in a documentary that simply let the cameras roll while he, Jack White and Jimmy Page sat around talking about their love affair with the electric guitar. This wasn't your typical rock 'n roll documentary. If you want to learn how Jimmy Page moved from the Yardbirds to Led Zeppelin, you won't find it here. This is three musicians talking shop.

Jimmy Page came across as so organic. He played the opening guitar riff from "Whole Lotta Love" as if everybody in the world could simply stand up and do the same thing. He made it look that easy. But as proof that it wasn't, The Edge got off his chair and stood closer, just to take in the sight. He wore a look of complete awe, watching the master at work.

On a side note, I identified why I was never keen on Led Zeppelin back when, as an early teenager, I endured my mother's renewed fascination with the band. That was the time when she indulged in her old love and bought all the albums on CDs. But something about Robert Plant really creeped me out...at least, it did then.

I found myself wanting to see more of the video clips of Led Zeppelin's live concerts. Wait, bring back that skinny sexy man with the big hair! There's also a very hot homoerotic quality to how Plant and Page interacted on stage. Back when I was a younger girl, they was simply too sexually intimidating for me. I came away from this documentary wondering where I could get my hands on more Led Zeppelin!

In contrast with Page's organic mastery, The Edge was much more fascinated by technology. Anyone who knows U2's back catalog understand this. He talked about the quest to create the sounds that he already heard in his head, and how he drives everyone crazy on that quest. He's such an introspective man. They all were, in fact. All three were acutely aware of the history of their craft, the changes they had tried to make in developing their own voices, and their legacies. Nothing stood out of time. Just by having the three of them in the same room proved that. They were links on a very long, very fascinating musical chain.

Jack White seems like he'll be a very interesting person in 15 years. He's a very interesting person now, but with a touch too much showmanship and arrogance. He postured a great deal more than the other two. The only place where he genuinely smiled and seemed humbled by the experience was, again, when Page played "Whole Lotta Love." It was the one time where he let down his guard and allowed the cameras to see him enjoying the moment. I can imagine him mellowing in the years to come and slowly reassessing his place in the rock pantheon. His older two companions had already done that soul-searching.

I would've really liked to see more of their spontaneous jam sessions, but to even have these examples of the three coming together is quite beyond belief. If you have any interest in rock music, the art form that is playing the guitar, or the individual careers of these fantastic musicians, then see this documentary. It's priceless and fascinating.

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