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Jimmy Page has a stronghold on the ’70s, The Edge has the ’80s cornered, and Jack White holds the title of the 21st century’s definitive guitar god? Oscar-winning director Davis Guggenheim‘s (An Inconvenient Truth) latest doc, It Might Get Loud, chronicles each musician’s work and climaxes in a perfect storm of guitar masters on a Warner Bros. soundstage, shredding and talking shop. (Via RollingStone.com) The film, set to be released August 14, received a standing ovation at the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 19.
I wasn’t conscious for any of the ’80s or much of the ’90s, so I can’t speak to the Edge’s inclusion. But White? Now, I love everything about Jack White—his twist on Bo Diddley, the Stripes‘ dirty Detroit grooves, and most recently his backbeats for the Dead Weather. And after watching the film’s trailer, I especially love the insouciant saltiness that the heretofore laconic axman lends the otherwise sappy nostalgiafest. Affirmations like “Technology is the big destroyer of emotion and truth” get my Twitterview-hating panties in a twist.
But is White really this generation’s guitar god? The documentary exhibits White holding his own among the greats, but still…how did Guggenheim single out the sometime Stripe? According to Rolling Stone:
“You could find other guitarists that were virtuosos, and you could find other guitarists that are legends, but you may not find three that are all searchers,” Guggenheim said of his subjects. “Each one of them is still searching and still trying to figure out what it means to make music.”
Right, well then. I agree White is certainly searching for something with his various side projects. But there are also plenty of other guitarists toiling under a similar burden, without the help of constant trumpeting by Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and now Guggenheim. Marnie Stern and PJ Harvey come to mind. And the fact that women are never honored with “Guitar God” status.
So, BPB readers, a modest appeal for an informal poll: Who do you consider this generation’s guitar god? And why no love for the female virtuosos?