Thursday, January 07, 2010

Guitar in the blood, and vice versa

It Might Get Loud is a documentary film featuring a meeting of 3 guitar gods from 3 generations: Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White. It’s not a concert film. They brought the three together (and it appeared that they either hadn’t met before or didn’t really know each other) and let us hear them sharing stories with each, as well as gear talk. There’s a lot of archival historical stuff on each one too, pics, clips, and revisiting places where things got started and important events happened.

I am really late coming around to bands & musicians sometimes, often I know of them but the music just takes awhile to drift into my brain, and that describes Jack White. MrB bought White Stripes Elephant when it came out, and I listened once and mentally left in the rack. Really no sparks caught fire until the last few months (seeing him on video several times) when I begin to see that Jack White is not only driven by the same stuff that drove my music idols in the sixties, he’s inspired and extremely passionate. He really gets it. He's raw. He's all over the map. One of the clips in the movie shows him playing with bloody fingers. Later you see the guitar with his blood all over it. This guy has got a lot of soul and balls to match. I bought Van Lear Rose when it came out, the record he made with Loretta Lynn. It's one of the weirdest combos I've ever heard, but it's addictive. I love it.

I really loved that The Edge was included in this, I love his style. U2 is not known for their instrumentals. I don’t know their whole discography. Do they have instrumentals? That’s a real question, I would like to hear one. Bono gets more on my nerves all the time, I wince when I hear or see him. Don’t ask why or attack me in comments, it’s just a personal preference issue and I am entitled to my own opinion. I really admire and enjoy Edge… and U2… except Bono. {yes, I know, that sounds like nonsense.}

Jimmy Page is a guitar god of my own generation. I was a big fan of The Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin, first saw LZ in 1969 and again in 1970 (the latter from center stage front [click for pic]). He is amazing and brilliant, very glad he was selected to be in this.

If you really aren’t interested in the processes of music from the driving force behind it all the way through the birth of something that has its own legs, including some technical stuff, then you may just want to watch a concert film instead. This one might leaving you wanting the film to just stay focused on one instead of shifting back and forth, or make you wish it was a whole film on one guy, but the bigger picture to see here (and what I think the filmmakers were trying to show) is the level of passion, devotion and sacrifice along with talent that it takes to do what they do – and how circumstances (negative or positive) can move you in direction or another. They’ve been lucky in that music has paid off well for them, there are so many other brilliantly gifted and driven musicians around who’ve been less lucky. Sometimes it’s as simple as “right place, right time, answered the right ad” as much as anything else.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Ha ha, good title for this post!

konagod said...

I'd love to see this. I have been a Jimmy Page fan since early teens, and Jack White I only discovered a few years ago and immediately feel in LOVE with the Stripes. They are so blatant in stealing from their influences it just brings a smile to my face... particularly since I love and can identify most of them.

konagod said...

I forgot to mention U2. I saw them in Kansas City and was as close to Bono as you were to Robert Plant. That gig was around 1981-ish. I often brag that I reached out to Bono and he reached back and grabbed my arm at the elbow and his palm was so sweaty it just slid down to my wrist.

But at the years have worn on, I also kinda lost some interest in U2 and only recently have found them to be a bit re-invigorating, but it's more the music than his vocals. So I do know what you mean. He doesn't grate on me, but I just don't enjoy him as much as I did when I was 21.

Blueberry said...

When I listen to White Stripes, I think of the Yardbirds (and so many others), yes they are very derivative but it's a great sound, lots of beauty in there too. I've missed several good opportunities to see Jack White. It's a priority now.