Thursday 21 November 2019

Movie: It might get loud * * * *


On the face of it, Davis Guggenheim's It Might Get Loud sounds like a bit of a mess. The American filmmaker managed to persuade three guitarists of some note -- Jimmy Page, Jack White and The Edge -- to meet up in a rather drab-looking sound studio and swap stories, ideas and riffs.

one to turn up

It could all have descended into self-indulgent inconsequence, but, remarkably, it doesn't, and this is largely down to the fact that Guggenheim has the very good sense to stand back and let the musicians tell their own stories.

They do so admirably, explaining how they came to their given calling. All three did so more or less by accident. In The Edge's segments, he returns to Mount Temple school on Dublin's northside to visit the room where he, Bono, Larry and Adam first practised; makes fun of the deceptive simplicity of some of his most famous riffs; and wonders what he'd be doing now if he and the boys hadn't taken a punt on rock music. "I'd be in a bank somewhere," he decides.

Jimmy Page was playing in a professional rock band by the age of 15, but grew disillusioned and became a session musician in order to hone his craft. By the time Led Zeppelin came along, he was so infuriated by the constraints of being a gun for hire that he was ready for the creative explosion that followed. Page returns to Headley Grange, where most of the iconic album Led Zeppelin IV was recorded.

Jack White provides the salt in the stew, mulling over his teenage years in an almost entirely black neighbourhood in Detroit, his love of very early blues music and the origins of his uniquely aggressive playing style. Musicians will love this film, but so will more casual rock aficionados.

Irish Independent

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