Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"It Might Get Loud" Pays Homage to the Guitar

Wednesday, August 26, 2009
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What kind of music would we be listening to if the guitar had never been invented? Would we all be jamming to Mozart while sitting in rush hour traffic? I pondered this thought while waiting to discover when It Might Get Loud, the new documentary by Davis Guggenheim, will be premiering in my city.

In his film, Guggenheim explores the instrument that links three talented musicians, each from a different generation. First, there is guitar legend Jimmy Page from the Yardbirds and, of course, Led Zeppelin. Next we have the Edge from U2 and Jack White of The White Stripes. The film recounts how each man discovered the guitar and attained fame, but Guggenheim said there is also a universal message.

"It's less about the gadgets and the toys and the guitars and more about these guys' creative path," Guggenheim told USA Today. "It's the story of what it's like to be a kid in a remote city wanting to say something and finding your voice."

Getting the three to participate was the first challenge.

"I'm not the sort of person who wants to be bothered about being profiled all the time," Page said. "But it is important to pop out now and then to show you're not 6 feet under."

The Edge said he does not usually like to discuss music because it is difficult to avoid cliches, but that the film was able to capture honest moments.

"I sort of forgot the cameras were there after a while because I was absorbed in the memories."

It Might Get Loud opened in N.Y. and L.A. Aug. 14 and will be premiering across the country over the next few months. Release dates can be found at the official Web site.

Check out a clip from the film featured on the Spin Web site.

Who is your favorite guitarist of all time?

This topic often produces much spirited debate between musicians and fans. Below are some of my favorites. Post your choice in the comments!

Jimi Hendrix
Often cited as the greatest guitarist of all time, Hendrix began his career at the age of 16. Known for his flamboyant playing, which included using his teeth, Hendrix pioneered an innovative style by combining fuzz, feedback and controlled distortion, which other guitarists tried to emulate, but never quite mastered.

Jimmy Page - Led Zeppelin
It is no surprise Guggenheim invited Page to participate in It Might Get Loud. After working as a first-call studio musician at Decca Records in London for several years, Page eventually joined the Yardbirds which evolved into the powerhouse known as Led Zeppelin. Page's powerful riffs and solos, as well as his innovative use of a bow, helped make him one of the most influential guitarists of all time.

Eric Clapton
Nicknamed Slowhand because of his laid back style, Clapton started playing guitar at the age of 13. Influenced early on by the blues roots of American music, he made it his own. Clapton's solos burst with blues, soul and creativity, making his oeuvre required study for young guitarists everywhere.

Robbie Krieger - The Doors
Perhaps the most underrated guitarist in music history, the riffs Krieger created with The Doors proved not only his creative talent, but also his versatile artistic style. Trained first in flamenco, Krieger went on to study folk, jazz and the blues, all of which are present in The Doors' body of work.


Paula said...

I would have to pick Eric Clapton from those guitarists. He plays alot of hot licks.

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