Monday, April 19, 2010

Who says you need to buy a guitar?

Rented some flicks over the weekend... Sherlock Homes, The Blind Side, and a great documentary called It Might Get Loud.

Sherlock Holmes turned out to be great, but you've got to let it build on you. Plus, it helps a LOT if you're a huge Robert Downey Jr. fan. I've enjoyed just about everything he's dome, from Weird Science, to his first "Oh shit, did you see him in that" role in Less Than Zero, to the amazing job he did in Restoration.

OK, he's one of those stars that basically plays the same character in every roll. But I don't care. Like most of the great actors from the old days... Spencer Tracy, Humphrey Bogart and John Wayne, if you like the personae they've created, you don't mind if they give it to you over and over again. You even look forward to it.

Anyway, I loved the film. I hope they make another one.

Next we watched The Blind Side. Loved it. It wasn't a tear jerker, but it was a great story. I have a hard time tellin' why Sandra Bullock got an Academy award for her performance, but that's a whole nother thing. It's a great story, and a wonderful true life drama.

To me though, the stand out flick we rented was It Might Get Loud. This is a documentary put out about a year ago about three rock and roll guitar players and their different approaches to the art. Jack White, The Edge, and Jimmy Page all provide insights into how they came to the guitar and how they've found their particular paths to greatness with the instrument.

It's amazing to see the completely different relationships these three artists have with their instruments. White almost discounts the guitar all together. He talks about never wanting to be a guitar player, but how fate seemed to through them together. In fact, the film begins with him nailing a few electric parts onto a board, stringing wire over a coke bottle and making a glorious noise. He then looks up, a wry grin on his face, takes a drag on his cigarette and says "Who says you need to buy a guitar?"

The Edge comes across as almost more of a technological virtuoso than a guitar player. He goes to great lengths to downplay the instrument while he demonstrates how much can be done to warp the simple sounds he makes with the huge panel of nobs and peddles.

The master artist on the show was, of course, Jimmy Page. Page came across as the most distant personality, and yet the most reverent about the instrument. He spoke of it lovingly, as if it were a woman, and talked about the orgasmic effect it can have on the listener.

At one point, as he stands up and begins to play the lead intro to "Whole Lotta Love", the other two smile and stare fascinated at Page's hands. The Edge even gets up and steps closer, so he can see exactly how Page makes that glorious iconic noise we all grew up with.

There are even a few scenes where Page plays records, showing a few of his early influences. The sight of Jimmy Page doing Air Guitar to an old Blues LP is enough to excuse the rest of us from doing it forever. Apparently it's a natural response, maybe some form or tourette's. When the music moves us... Really moves our soul, we need to connect ourselves to it. Be in there and become one with it.

Anyway, if you love the guitar, or spent any time in the last 40 years playin' air guitar with the headphones on, you need to rent this film. if you're like me, and you love the music, you'll really love It Might Get Loud.

Check it out. Cheers.


BRUNO said...

Don't know just how to respond. I enjoy the hell outta LISTENING to music---but damned if I can PLAY any of it! Even on air-guitar!

I always end-up with a pair of un-zipped pants, for MY trouble...!

Suldog said...

Never heard of this movie before. I'll definitely have to get it from Netflix. Thanks!