Thu Feb 12, 3:07 am ET
Reuters – Guitarists Jack White (L), The Edge and Jimmy Page (R)
BERLIN (Reuters) – For three of the world's greatest guitarists, their instrument was a ticket out of poverty and professional drudgery."It Might Get Loud" is a documentary by Davis Guggenheim, awarded an Oscar for environmental film "An Inconvenient Truth," that focuses on Jimmy Page formerly of Led Zeppelin, The Edge of U2 and Jack White of The White Stripes and The Raconteurs.
The three musicians recount how they came to play the guitar in the first place, what their influences were and how their style of play differed from others.
It culminates in a meeting in a cavernous Hollywood sound stage where they swap stories and end up jamming together on electric and acoustic guitars.
Their paths to rock legend status differed dramatically, and spread over generations and continents. But common to all was how they used the guitar to open up a world of possibilities at a time when the alternatives seemed bleak.
Silver-haired Page, 65, recalled how he felt stuck in a rut as a session guitarist, providing instrumentation for hit pop songs and jingles. He joined The Yardbirds, and went on to form one of the giants of 1970s rock, Led Zeppelin.
For The Edge, 47, playing in a band in Ireland in the late 1970s and early 1980s gave him hope of escaping the grinding poverty he saw around him.
Jack White, 33, was working as an upholsterer when he was a teenager already interested in music, and one of the first records he released was with a colleague in the business.
Guggenheim mixes footage of the meeting, interviews and archive material to tell his story.
Technology-obsessed The Edge, or David Evans, goes back to the classroom where he and U2 rehearsed as teenagers.
"None of us could play at this point," he said. "It was really, really bad."
Page returns to Headley Grange in England where Led Zeppelin's signature track "Stairway to Heaven" was written.
At his home, surrounded by thousands of records, a beaming Page plays air guitar while listening to Link Wray's "Rumble," which had a deep impression on him as a guitarist.
In an old piece of news footage, the schoolboy musician is asked what he wants to do in life. He earnestly replies: "I want to do biological research."
White makes a "guitar" from nails, wire, wood, a bottle and an amplifier, and says: "Who says you need to buy a guitar?"
Guggenheim said "It Might Get Loud," screening at the Berlin film festival this week where The Edge appeared before around 1,000 people, was different from other "rockumentaries."
"Most rock and roll documentaries focus on car wrecks and overdoses," he said in production notes for the film.
"We wanted to focus on story-telling and the path of the artist, we wanted to push deeper beneath the surface."
(Reporting by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Sophie Hares)
Jumaat, Februari 13, 2009
Thu Feb 12, 3:07 am ET