Arts & Entertainment

Get loud with White, Page and The Edge

 | January 29, 2010

You have to admit, sometimes winter weather can really be a drag: cold, wet, missing all the powder days for an unending list of justifiable reasons. It gets to you at a point, that is, until you catch on to something inspiring and re-energizing.

Take It Might Get Loud for example. This documentary, directed by Davis Guggenheim, is not only the heartwarming tale of three of rock and roll’s favourite musicians but also a guide to the creative process and the world of possibly the most beloved instrument in the world: the guitar.

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It Might Get Loud, which came out in Canada in December 2009, portrays legends Jimmy Page (Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin), The Edge (U2) and Jack White (The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather) through the stories of their guitarist careers, culminating in the ultimate acoustic guitar jam to The Band’s “The Weight”.

The film is phenomenally easy to follow and enjoyable to watch, without throwing in the needless rock and roll lifestyle shots. It’s impossible to keep from smiling out of sheer childish joy from watching old white-haired Jimmy Page rock out with his characteristic smooching guitar face, and Jack White going into what looks like a trance onstage.

All three musicians are geniuses in their own right: Page with his bow, double-necked guitar and flying fingers, The Edge—or David Howell Evans—flipping switches and effects in a zen-like state, and ghostly Jack White howling out screeching blues riffs. All three come from completely different backgrounds, from the “Troubles” of Ireland, London skiffle bands and an area of Detroit where it was apparently unacceptable to even play an instrument. But they all came together for the epic jam session of a lifetime, as White says “to trick them into teaching me their tricks.”

“It’s like a woman, caress it like a woman,” said Jimmy Page of his star instrument. “It’s all part and parcel of who I am, playing the electric guitar and bonding with it.”

But not only are these three musicians just guitarists, they have written some of the most influential songs ever such as Zepellin’s “Stairway to Heaven” from which the double-necked guitar was born. U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday” was written by The Edge, one of their most political songs. Jack White has formed numerous bluesy rock bands, and is noted for songs like “Seven Nation Army” and “Fell in Love With a Girl”.
Coming up with as many riffs, lyrics, choruses and solos as each of them has is not as easy as it may seem. Making as many hits with the amount of material comes from the inspiration within.

As The Edge says in the movie, “You see a mass of tree trunks and at a certain point you look again and realize they’re all in perfect rows—clarity.”

While many of us can only wish to have beachside accommodation just to listen to the sound of the guitar reverberate off of a set of islands, or an English mansion stuffed to the ceilings with music paraphernalia, it certainly doesn’t hurt giving this movie a watch. Maybe it will inspire you to pick up a guitar yourself and jam away the winter blues.

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