Davis Guggenheim’s first feature-length doc since ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ fulfils the wishes of many guitar fans by focusing on the lives of three generations of distinguished axe wielders – Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, U2’s The Edge and The White Stripes’ Jack White. Not my preference, mind, but credit where credit’s due, each of these players has succeeded in creating a sound and style of his own. Yes, even The Edge, who admits that his two-note technique owes everything to his battery of digital effects. White is the coolest, most enigmatic character here, so it’s amusing to watch his disaffected persona slip when Page starts riffing on ‘Whole Lotta Love’. Needless to say, all three divulge a wealth of facts relating to their playing styles, influences and guitars of choice. Granted, the film might have benefited from a trim and a more linear approach, but mostly it fulfils its role as an illuminating homage to both the protagonists involved and, above all, the guitar as popular music’s most timeless icon.
Friday January 1 2010