Released on DVD and Blu-Ray From Jan 18th 2010
In some ways I feel a little under-qualified to be reviewing a DVD about three rock guitar legends, but I’m also in the mood for something different, so when the ‘It Might Get Loud’ DVD slipped through the letterbox, I had to put it on.
This ‘rockumentary’ is described as ‘an inspirational ode to the electric guitar’, so I was expecting something of an education in an instrument I have never played, but have admired others playing. I did find myself learning a few bits and pieces, but the overall result was less an education into the instrument, and more a journey into the musical lives of three people who have made it their passion.
It makes you realise how vast music history is, when you’re watching three legends together in one room, and you realise how much has been achieved between them. Jack White from the White Stripes, Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin, and The Edge, have been responsible for, or helped create, some great guitar moments, and of course, millions of record sales. The DVD begins rather randomly with a shot of Jack White by a stage in a field full of cows, crafting his own guitar out of some wood, nails, an old coke bottle, and some wire/string. It made quite an impressive sound, and experimentation became a major theme to the film, as the three guys discussed technology taking over from real sound, trying to realise the sounds in their heads when song writing and discovering all the things hardware can do to a guitar sound. This was a part I found really interesting, especially when The Edge played a riff both with and without sound effects/pedals.
The DVD also followed each guitarist on a trip back down memory lane, to their school days, and what got them started in music. These stories were interspersed with early performances from their various bands, videos of bands they’ve been influenced by, and a few funny scenes from Top Of The Pops. These were apparently shown to illustrate how ‘rubbish’ pop music was at the time, and what an impact rock made to music, and music television when it came in, and was featured on the show.
Other interesting moments, include Jack White and his sister playing in the Chelsea Pensioners Home (a most random gig!), The Edge listening to some very early cassette demos, and discussion about what movies Jimmy Page had, or hadn’t been involved in, And yes, he did play guitar on Goldfinger. There’s also a good few songs featured in the film too, so listen out for ‘Whole Lotta Love’, ‘Stairway To Heaven’, and ‘Sitting On Top Of The World’. There’s also a nice moment at the end of the DVD when Jimmy, Jack, and The Edge, are all sitting together playing a cover of ‘The Weight’.
I think you really need to be a guitar player yourself, to fully appreciate the skill of these three guys, and the true meaning behind the techniques they were discussing.
That said, it was entertaining watching them play, and to learn a little about the electric guitar and what it can do. I think there could’ve been more structure to the story, a bit more about the instrument, and maybe less reliance on audio/video clips too. Despite this, it was still an interesting ‘rockumentary’, and there’s a few things that I’m sure people will pull from this, and quote for many years to come. I’m also sure everyone involved in music, song writing, in fact any kind of writing will agree. “As writers, we start with the feeling, and everything follows from that.” (The Edge).