Film Reviews

IT MIGHT GET LOUD

By • Sep 13th, 2009 •

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Guitar god? Check. Sex god? Absolutely. Jimmy Page effortlessly exudes sex – at 65.

Sure I know who Jimmy Page, the Edge, and Jack White are. But I’ve never been to their concerts or religiously followed their music. I do have Jack White’s brilliant rendition of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” on my iPod.

So not being a devotee, I was shocked to find myself mesmerized by Jimmy Page. You don’t have to even like music to be captivated by him.

It’s usually the lead singers of rock bands that cross over into world consciousness, like Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant and U2’s Bono. But these two groups have masterful lead guitarists and with Jack White of the Raconteurs and the White Stripes, make IT MIGHT GET LOUD one of the best documentaries on rock n’ roll bands.

However, anyone who plays a guitar would say the heart and soul of a band is the lead guitarist.

Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim cleverly begins the movie with Jack White, in his neo-Amish attire, crafting a guitar out of two pieces of wood, a coke bottle and a string. White’s philosophy is set – if you want to make music, nothing should stop you. Technology can only take you so far. The most important features are passion and creativity.

Page, White and the Edge have come together for “The Summit,” an unrehearsed jam session. You can see it on their faces – White and the Edge are jamming with Jimmy Page!

Since Page is one of the film’s executive producers, we have glorious archival footage of Page’s incredible career, beginning in high school and then as a member of the Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin.

The Edge is a master technician; in truth, a guitar alchemist. He shows us how the sound of a note changes as he works to bring it to his idea of perfection. He’s got a staff of highly trained technicians and a studio filled with high-tech equipment. On the opposite side of Edge’s technical wizardry is Jack White. He likes to bring down music to its barest form. He likes the pain and struggle of blues music.

These guys can give you the philosophical meaning of every note they play.

Jimmy Page is fantastic! He may not be the face of Led Zeppelin to the uninitiated, but he has an electrifying, casual charisma. He’s not even trying!

Jimmy Page is the sexiest man in movies.

Page takes us into his London estate and plays us his favorite music from his vinyl collection. You see the thrill in his face as he plays air guitar.

Where do I get a copy of “Ramble On?”

Of course, who doesn’t know the legendary “Stairway to Heaven”? It’s more famous than Beethoven’s Fifth and Page takes us to the mansion where it was recorded. That was back in the day when all the band members were actually in the same room and played together.

The Edge’s journey to rock royalty begins in a Dublin high school. He’s a virtuoso, yet for sheer emotional drive in playing guitar, Page reigns. In a brief moment showing the Edge on stage with U2, one is shaken by the power of tens of thousands of people in thrall with one’s performance. It must be a very surreal, god-like experience.

White was the youngest of ten children growing up in Tennessee and his childhood and family environment was a strong influence that drives his approach to music. Like Page and the Edge, he traces the highlights in his musical journey to The White Stripes to the Raconteurs.

If this sounds like a blatant love letter to Jimmy Page, go see IT MIGHT GET LOUD and you will agree with me. It’s not the music, it’s the man.

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One Response »

  1. …”Where do I get a copy of “Ramble On?”…

    …I think you’re asking about the tune Pagey was listening to during that particular sequence(???),and I recall it being Link Wray’s menacing (for it’s time) instrumental called “Rumble”…

    “Krraaaang,Kraaanngg,Krrraannngggggggg!!!”

    …boom,boom,boom,boom…boom,boom,boom,boom…(pause)

    “Kraannng,Krrraanng,Krrraannggggggggggg!!!”

    …boom,boom,boom,boom…boom,boom,boom,boom…

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