Review of It MIght Get Loud directed by Davis Guggenheim
Rating *** 1/2
This film covers three iconic guitar players from their childhoods to present day. The three guitar players are Jimmy Page, former lead guitar player for Led Zeppelin, The Edge, lead guitarist for U2, and Jack White, singer and guitar player for the White Stripes. I am very familiar with Jimmy Page's work. I wasn't familiar with the other two. I never was into U2, and the White Stripes I've never heard of.
I am a fan of great guitar music. Two of my favorite guitarists right now are Peter White and Craig Chaquico. I play a little myself, though I haven't touched a guitar and twenty years. When I did play, one of my favorite songs to play was Stairway to Heaven. It was the first song I ever learned to play.
While I liked the film and the three guitarists were likable and had compelling stories, I wasn't blown away by the guitar playing. Nothing against these three. They obviously are great guitarists. But I was expecting more.
I've had three experiences listening to a guitarist who completely blew me away. One was Eddie Van Halen. His wife, Valerie Bertinelly, was hosting Saturday Night Live. Eddie took the stage for about three minutes and everything came to a standstill while everyone was transfixed by what he was doing. The second was watching Lindsey Buckingham perform Big Love live. And the last time was when I saw Craig Chaquico live.
I liked some of the choices the filmmakers made like their decision to not try and cover every song these guys ever wrote. But I thought the editing was out of sync. They'd be covering one player and cut to a story of one of the other two without any break between them. So you weren't sure who was being covered until you heard them or saw them.
And I would have liked to have heard a little more about the genesis of certain songs. I give them credit for doing something different, and I enjoyed listening to the audio commentary. This is definitely worth a look.
After posting this article it got me thinking about the live performances that I mentioned. So I went to youtube to see if I could find them. So rather than talk about some great performances, you can judge for yourself. Also, I need to include Jimmy Page in my wow department. I was channel surfing one day and came across the Led Zeppelin concert at Madison Square Garden. I stopped my surfing as soon as Jimmy Page started playing.