25 December 2009

let it get loud

“It might get loud.” So says the Edge, U2’s innovative guitarist. In the movie of the same name, director Davis Guggenheim brings together Jimmy Page, the Edge, and Jack White to discuss their love of—and to play—the electric guitar.

Page does the Edge the honor of referring to his playing as “sonic architecture.” The movie begins with White using a Coke bottle, hammer and nails, wood, a single strand, and a pickup, and he finishes by saying, “Who said you needed to buy a guitar?” Still, when Page—after speaking of the limits of volume and his desire to find sustain, starts playing the momentous chords of “Whole Lotta Love”—that’s when the guitar gods stir from their slumber.

Here’s where I admit my biases. I can appreciate what Jack White is trying to say, but in my humble opinion, Page and the Edge are light years away from him—and, of course, they’re light years away from each other. (Another way of putting it is that I love Zeppelin and U2, but not the White Stripes.) But however different their own styles are, the film brings them back together, and they’re just three guys playing together.

So while my wife is cooking, it’s not a bad way to spend an hour and a half of a Christmas day!

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