There was a golden age of rock music, where almost everyone wanted an electric guitar to imitate legends like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana, Brian May, Slash and many others. But last decades are different and hard times have come for electric guitars sales, dropping from 1.5 million to a little more than a million in the last decade. Gibsons’ annual sales of last three years dropped by 400 million dollars and in 2012 Fender had to cancel its debut on stock markets.
Rock is considered a music for nostalgic. The reasons are many, but it’s enough to think that most of the young listeners today listen to electronic music, rap and hip hop. The number of published rock albums is at the lowest level in decades.
It Might Get Loud is a documentary on electric guitar for all lovers of this instrument. Filmed in 2008 by Davis Guggenheim (Oscar winner in 2007 as Best Documentary with An Inconvenient Truth), it tells the stories, the techniques and the style of three different guitarists. On January 23rd, 2008, Jack White, The Edge and Jimmy Page teamed up in a kind of abandoned industrial shed, to talk about electric guitar, compare riffs and exchange short demonstrations.
Their different style is evident: Page is experimentation, The Edge is study and Jack White is improvisation. The documentary starts with Jack White building a rudimentary guitar at home and ends with a collaboration between the three, who play in acoustic version a cover of The Band’s The Weight. In many moments the spectator can observe three different generations who tell us about their personalities, their careers and, above all, their rock philosophy.
The sequence below is one of the highlights of the documentary, where The Edge asks Jimmy Page how Kashmir was born.