Thursday, June 17, 2010

Biological Research

So, I'm watching the documentary It Might Get Loud which stars The Edge, Jimmy Page, and Jack White and... What?

It stars a rock icon whose name is spoken in the same breath as Eric Clapton and Jimmy Hendrix, some guy from an 80's/90's band that's most famous for their lead singer speaking out on social issues, and that kid who lives down the street who plays guitar really good you know and he's in that band that's playing at the middle school dance...

So wait, really?

Jimmy Page and... those other two guys? OK, OK, what if I even give you The Edge (meh). But Jack White? Why is he even in the room? How about B.B. King? He's still around. Or Jeff Beck. Or, for that matter, Eric Clapton? I mean... David Gilmour! What about him!? No, instead it's... Jack White? What? For cryin' out loud, Les muthurscratchin Paul was alive when they shot this.

And I'm sorry, even if I sit right in the demographic for U2 (generationally Jimmy Page is too old and Jack White is too young) it's just that... Jimmy Page is the only one of those three players who is culturally important at all. I mean seriously, let's compare all three of these guitar players to Paris Hilton.

Jimmy Page? Vastly more important than Paris Hilton as a cultural figure. No question. Next:

The Edge? Oh, I dunno. Maybe about the same. Or maybe more. Maybe I'm being too mean because I'm irritated. OK. The Edge is more important than Paris Hilton but not even in the top 20 electric guitar players who are alive.

But Jack White? C'mon. There's no way to deny it. Jack White: actually culturally less important than Paris Hilton.

But the thing is, more than that -- Jimmy Page is the only one of the three of them who can actually play the guitar. Now I realize that's an obnoxious and elitist thing to say, but, well, I'm obnoxious and Jimmy Page is the elite. I mean, maybe I'm being too hard on The Edge. He did develop that whole 80's digital delay sound. So OK. That's one for The Edge. But Jimmy Page can actually play the guitar.

You and I know plenty o' guys who play just as well as The Edge and Jack White. They play in the local bars all weekend. We don't know a guy who's as good as Jimmy Page (unless we know Jimmy Page.)

Also: bonus material. Jimmy Page played on Goldfinger. Yes, that Goldfinger.


Ben said...

You are crazy... I understand that Jimmy Page is amazing but Jack White has every right to be there as well. The Edge is probably the only one who doesn't. And besides Jack White was the one who pulled it together, kind of a "Kid tracks down his icon and gets him to play on his album" kind of thing. I thought there was a fair amount of mutual respect and Jack White is definitely keeping rock alive for a new generation and in his own way.

Andrew Bellware said...

After seeing the movie I'd say that The Edge is better than Jack White. Jack White can hit notes. He can maybe even hit notes in rapid succession. But seriously, there's nothing interesting about his "sound" (which is just over-compressed and over-saturated). And there's nothing particular about his "feel". There are thousands of guitar players in New York City right now who are qualitatively and quantitatively better. Not to mention London, Buenos Ares, or Michigan...
I dunno. "Mutual" respect? I'm not so sure about that. Jimmy Page's guitar tech is a vastly better player than Jack White. (Hell, Neil Young's guitar tech is too.) I think that was "tolerance."

Laura, Queen of Mars said...

Everyone everywhere is happy that this rant did not go un-ranted.

Andrew Bellware said...