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 guitar lessons and 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.