Sunday, July 19, 2009

MOVIE REVIEW: It Might Get Loud - Due for Release on 14 August 2009

Hello everyone,

I've just heard about this new movie due for release on 14 August 2009. Should be interesting particularly for you Jimmy Page fans.


Rarely can a film penetrate the glamorous surface of rock legends. It Might Get Loud tells the personal stories, in their own words, of three generations of electric guitar virtuosos – The Edge (U2), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), and Jack White (The White Stripes).

It reveals how each developed his unique sound and style of playing favorite instruments, guitars both found and invented. Concentrating on the artist’s musical rebellion, traveling with him to influential locations, provoking rare discussion as to how and why he writes and plays, this film lets you witness intimate moments and hear new music from each artist.

The movie revolves around a day when Jimmy Page, Jack White, and The Edge first met and sat down together to share their stories, teach and play.

Here's a little trailer from the movie - let's call it an appetiser!:

Here's a bit more information about the movie:

Who hasn't wanted to be a rock star, join a band or play electric guitar? Music resonates, moves and inspires us. Strummed through the fingers of The Edge, Jimmy Page and Jack White, somehow it does more. Such is the premise of It Might Get Loud, a new documentary conceived by producer Thomas Tull.

It Might Get Loud isn't like any other rock'n roll documentary. Filmed through the eyes of three virtuosos from three different generations, audiences get up close and personal, discovering how a furniture upholsterer from Detroit, a studio musician and painter from London and a seventeen-year-old Dublin schoolboy, each used the electric guitar to develop their unique sound and rise to the pantheon of superstar.

Rare discussions are provoked as we travel with Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White to influential locations of their pasts. Born from the experience is intimate access to the creative genesis of each legend, such as Link Wray's "Rumble’s" searing impression upon Jimmy Page, who surprises audiences with an impromptu air guitar performance. But that's only the beginning.

While each guitarist describes his own musical rebellion, a rock'n roll summit is being arranged. Set on an empty soundstage, the musicians come together, crank up the amps and play. They also share their influences, swap stories, and teach each other songs. During the summit Page’s double-neck guitar, The Edge’s array of effects pedals and White’s new mic, custom built into his guitar, go live.

The musical journey is joined by visual grandeur too. We see the stone halls of Headley Grange where "Stairway to Heaven" was composed, visit a haunting Tennessee farmhouse where Jack White writes a song on-camera, and eavesdrop inside the dimly lit Dublin studio where The Edge lays down initial guitar tracks for U2’s forthcoming single. The images, like the stories, will linger in the mind long after the reverb fades.

It Might Get Loud might not affect how you play guitar, but it will change how you listen. The film is directed and produced by An Inconvenient Truth's Davis Guggenheim, and produced by Thomas Tull, Lesley Chilcott and Peter Afterman.


How is this film different from other music documentaries?
While there have been a lot of performance documentaries, this one is really about the relationship between these three men and their instruments. We tried to show what drives the artists, what got them passionate as players, what made them pick up the guitar in the first place.

Where did you come up with this concept?
The guitar is something I am ardent about. I was thinking how, on a global level, the personification of contemporary music IS the guitar: from video games to debates over Top 10 guitarists lists, from rock to jazz to blues, this instrument captures everyone's imagination. It was a subject I hadn't really seen explored on film, from that perspective.

What was instrumental in you picking Davis Guggenheim to direct?
I've known Davis as a friend for a number of years. He is one of the best documentarians there is (as shown in "An Inconvenient Truth"), and he's passionate about music too. He was the only person I thought of for this film.

Why did you want to make this film?
As a fan I wanted to see a movie that captured the essence of why people are so fanatic about the guitar. I wanted to tell that story through these three, particular artists.

How did you choose Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White? What was it like working with them?
It was almost like casting a movie. We wanted to show a wide range of styles and eras by focusing on three of the best players in the world, from three generations ... and they said yes! Like many kids, I had a poster of Jimmy Page on my wall - he is a living legend. U2 is one of the greatest bands ever, and The Edge is a brilliant and distinctive player. Jack White is the new generation - cutting his own path but also keeping the guitar, and great guitar traditions, alive.

What do you hope audiences will experience while watching the film?
Honestly, I made this film for people like me, people who love music and the experience of a live show. When you love a band or a musician you want to know how and why they do what they do - what makes them tick. Davis was able to show this, to get inside these guys' worlds and inside their heads in a way I don't think any other music documentary has. I hope fans are as excited and fulfilled by seeing and hearing what he uncovered as I am.


What was your initial reaction when Thomas Tull first approached you about IMGL?
Thomas asked me to come to his office in Burbank - I had no idea why. I get there and he launches into this passionate pitch about the electric guitar and how no film has ever captured what it is that makes the instrument so great. He described the huge influence the electric guitar has had on him and our entire society.

Soon, without ever realizing it, I was hooked: totally into this idea of looking at the subject matter in a different way. The history of the instrument has already been thoroughly explored. Most Rock and Roll documentaries focus on car wrecks and overdoses; or they pontificate with sweeping generalities about how this guy was "God" and how "music was changed forever"…
Thomas and I didn’t want any of that. We wanted to focus on story-telling and the path of the artist, we wanted to push deeper beneath the surface.

Are there particular moments from the film that are your favorites?
There are so many. We were filming in Jimmy Page's home outside of London - which he has never allowed before – and he starts pulling out his favorite albums and playing them for us. These are the records that he listened to and learned from as a young musician. Just watching him listen to the records was incredible - and then he started playing air guitar! We were filming Jack in Austin, Texas, and he's playing this out-of-control guitar solo. Through the lens, I start realizing that he's so focused and playing so aggressively that his hand is bleeding without him even knowing it. Or Edge taking us to the classroom where he and U2 first met and rehearsed when they were 16 and 17 years old. This was just a regular high school classroom – they would meet for practice and spend the first ten minutes clearing all the desks to the sides before they could actually play.

In Tennessee, I asked Jack to write an original song on camera – and he did it – right in front of us… I don’t think I have ever seen that before. Another time, Jimmy played us previews of two new tracks he was writing – both of which actually ended up in the movie.

What was the most challenging part of shooting this film?
The most challenging part of the project was weaving these three stories together. Each guitarist comes from a different generation, has different roots, different theories - sometimes in direct conflict of one another. I had a hunch that inter-cutting their stories would be really interesting, but was panicked at times - worried that it would never work.

How long did the shoot take?
Lesley Chilcott and I spent the better part of a year flying between London, Nashville and Dublin, following these guys. Sometimes it would be a very small crew, very intimate and sparse. And then we had a huge shoot on one of the largest Hollywood soundstages. There were seven cameras, the three rock stars, all their guitars and crew - it was like a three ring circus. I'll never forget the look on the crews’ faces (and even those of us in the business who are so jaded) when Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White, turned on their amps and started playing together. What I love about this movie, and what makes it so unique, is how the scale will change from Edge alone in his studio late night - to the three of them jamming on a Led Zeppelin track together with the volume full blast and the cameras capturing every angle.

What do you hope audiences will experience while watching the film?
I hope the audience will fall in love with these guys as much as I did. Not just as rock stars - that part is easy - but at individuals and artists who turned their individual life experiences into music: beautiful, raw, in-your-face, visceral, and transcendent. And I hope that audiences feel a touch of that child-like excitement that Thomas sparked in me, that first day we sat down.


Jimmy Page

Jimmy Page is one of the most influential guitarists, songwriters and producers in rock and roll history. As the founding member of Led Zeppelin he helped define the hard-rock guitar sound.
Page picked up his first guitar when he was 12 years old, and although he took a few lessons, he was largely self-taught. After playing in various bands he surfaced as guitarist with Neil Christian and the Crusaders, with whom he toured England.

In 1963 Page enrolled in Sutton Art College in Surrey to pursue his other love, painting. During this period, he often found time to jam on stage at The Marquee. It was here where Page was sitting in one night that he was approached to do session work. Word spread quickly that Page could play anything and offers for session work came in from all over the place, including EMI and Decca Records. His first session for Decca was the recording "Diamonds" by Jet Harris and
Tony Meehan which went to Number 1 on the singles chart in early 1963.

While doing session work, Page joined the Yardbirds playing twin lead guitar with Jeff Beck. Following Beck’s departure from the band, the Yardbirds continued as a quartet and recorded one album (with Page as the lead guitar) titled "Little Games." During the band’s live performances, they were becoming increasingly more experimental.

Eventually the Yardbirds disbanded, and, keen to develop his ideas, Page recruited vocalist Robert Plant, drummer John Bonham and multi-instrumentalists John Paul-Jones to form a band soon to be known as Led Zeppelin.

Led Zeppelin made their debut at the University of Surrey in October 1968. Their self-titled first album was released in January 1969, during their first US tour. The album’s experimental blend of blues, folk and eastern influences with distorted amplification made it one of the pivotal records in the creation of heavy rock music. In their first year, Led Zeppelin managed to complete four US and four UK concert tours and release their second album, Led Zeppelin II. The second album was an even greater success than the first and reached the number one chart position in the US and the UK. Zeppelin became a must-see live band.

As a producer, composer and guitarist, Page was one of the major driving forces behind the rock sound of the era, with his trademark Gibson Les Paul guitar and Marshall Amplification. He also helped create one of the first fuzz boxes, came up with innovative recording techniques such as reverse echo, recording ambient sound and using stairwells to record drums. He rapidly became known for his innovative production techniques as well as his intricate guitar playing. Page used a bow, slide guitar, eastern scales, acoustic guitar, and the double-neck in addition to inventive recording techniques to create the Led Zeppelin sound, which became a prototype for all future rock bands.

After Led Zeppelin broke up in 1980, Page formed several other bands and performed live at the ARMS Charity series of concerts in 1983 which honoured Small Faces bass player Ronnie Lane. He then met with Paul Rogers and together they formed The Firm. He also found time to record on albums with Roy Harper while session work with Graham Nash and others followed. He recorded his first solo album Outrider in 1988, collaborated with David Coverdale in Coverdale Page, and made a live album with The Black Crowes.

Page had played lead guitar on Robert Plant’s Honeydrippers project and they reunited again to do two albums, tours in 1995 and 1998 and the MTV UnLedded special showcasing their album No Quarter, a compilation featuring restyled Led Zeppelin songs, which was a huge success.

Since 1990, Jimmy Page has been responsible for the remastering of the entire Led Zeppelin back catalogue and presenting new products such as the DVD How The West Was Won, and the immensely successful Mothership album in 2007.

He is currently involved in various ongoing charity concerns, particularly Task Brazil and the Action for Brazil's Children Trust (ABC Trust). In 2007 the surviving members of Led Zeppelin, as well as John Bonham's son, Jason Bonham, played a charity concert at the O2 Arena London. In June of 2008 Page received an honorary doctorate from the University of Surrey for his services to the music industry.

The Edge

Guitarist with Irish rock band U2, The Edge was born David Howell Evans in Barking, East London on August 8, 1961. A year later, he and his family moved to Malahide, Co. Dublin. He went on to attend Mount Temple School where he met Larry Mullen, Bono and Adam Clayton, and in 1978 U2 was formed.

Described as one of the most influential guitar players of his generation, The Edge's crystalline minimalist guitar playing, often making use of repeat echo, is the hallmark of U2's music, and one of the most original and distinctive guitar styles in rock and roll history. Recently acknowledged as one of the best live acts in the world, U2 have toured the globe countless times. They have released 14 studio albums and won numerous awards, including 22 Grammies.

One of the principle songwriters of U2, The Edge has also written extensively for other projects, often in collaboration with U2's Bono, including music for movies: Captive (1985), Gangs of New York (2002), GoldenEye (1995); for animation: The Batman (TV series 2004); and for the stage: A Clockwork Orange by the Royal Shakespeare Company (1990).

Marked out by their politics from the beginning, U2 were awarded Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience Award in 2006. In 2005, The Edge co-founded Music Rising, a charity initiative which provides musical instruments for the musicians, schools and churches of the Gulf Region. The Edge is married and lives in Dublin with his wife and children.

Jack White

One of the most enigmatic figures in music, Jack White has built a reputation as something of a modern American renaissance man. When Jack White formed The White Stripes with his big sister Meg in 1997 no one could have predicted the journey they would take. A love of early delta blues inspired him to take a minimalist approach to the music, one which included a simple drumming style by Meg as well as a red, white and black color scheme for everything from their stage clothing to their record sleeves.

As lead singer, guitarist and songwriter, Jack has steered the duo to international success. The White Stripes have released 6 critically acclaimed albums and picked up 5 Grammy Awards, including 3 for "Best Alternative Album": Elephant (2004), Get Behind Me Satan (2006) & Icky Thump (2008). To date they have also won 4 MTV Video Music Awards and 2 Brit Awards. Their international hit singles include "Fell In Love with A Girl" (2001), "Seven Nation Army" (2003), and "Icky Thump" (2007). The band are hugely popular all over the world and 2007 saw them perform at arenas across the US and Europe, including a stop at New York City’s famed Madison Square Garden.

In 2005 White formed a second band, The Raconteurs, with Brendan Benson, Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler. Described as "a new band of old friends", The Raconteurs first single, "Steady, As She Goes" was an immediate success and their debut album Broken Boy Soldiers went on to debut at #7 in the Billboard Album Charts. The band toured the world and wound up their 2006 touring schedule playing dates across the US with Bob Dylan. White and Dylan’s mutual appreciation has resulted in several guest performances together. Broken Boy Soldiers was nominated for 2 Grammy Awards. The Raconteurs’ sophomore album Consolers Of The Lonely (2008) also debuted at #7 and spawned the hit single "Salute Your Solution." White has managed to work with both of his bands simultaneously since 2005, currently working with each on an annual rotation.

While renowned around the globe as a rock performer and songwriter, White is also an award winning record producer. He has produced all of The White Stripes and Raconteurs recordings to date (the latter with Brendan Benson) and, in 2004, helmed Loretta Lynn’s Van Lear Rose album. As well as producing the album White put together Lynn’s band for the recording (which included the rhythm section of The Raconteurs) and appeared himself on guitar and vocals, including the duet "Portland, Oregon" which won the 2005 Grammy for "Best Country Collaboration With Vocals". Van Lear Rose was awarded the Grammy for "Best Country Album".
White has appeared in a handful of movie roles, including the Academy Award winning 2003 film Cold Mountain. Director Anthony Minghella cast White as Georgia Thewes on the advice of musical director T Bone Burnett. White’s role was a musical one and he performed several of the movie’s Appalachian songs. In the same year both members of The White Stripes appeared in director Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee & Cigarettes. Jack and Meg White played themselves in the vignette titled "Jack Shows Meg His Testla Coil".

In 2006 the duo appeared on screen again in an episode of The Simpsons titled "Jazzy And The Pussycats". In 2007 White made a cameo as Elvis Presley in the Judd Apatow produced comedy Walk Hard and in 2008 he performed on stage in New York City with The Rolling Stones for a scene in Martin Scorceses’ documentary Shine A Light. White joins Jimmy Page and The Edge in Davis Guggenheim’s electric guitar documentary It Might Get Loud, due for release later this year.

Jack White runs Third Man Records, which releases both The White Stripes and The Raconteurs around the globe.

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