By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
We asked if this was a conscious decision. “It was unnecessary,” White replied. “A lot of that is a celebrity thing. That’s not really the territory we’re trying to discover here.”
Guggenheim concurs, “It never came up, actually.”
Since Loud seems to be a boys club–type endeavor and women in general are pretty much left out (Meg White is shown briefly during some White Stripes performance clips), we dared to probe further on this topic and the guitar-god clichés left unaddressed. Do guitarists all pick the thing up initially to get girls? And how does a gal ever compete with the ardor these men have for their instruments?
Page’s attraction to the guitar — which he started playing at 13 — started off pure and innocent, it seems. “Certainly in the really early days, there was this world where you pick up a guitar, you’re playing it and practicing it, and all of a sudden, you can actually play something that you’ve heard. It manifests real joy. You think, ‘Oh, my god, I could do this forever, just strumming at this one chord.’ You’re not thinking about girls, just this great connection.”
Page did offer one revealing line about the ladies, though: “It’s shaped like a woman, for heaven’s sake. You can touch it and caress it.” He noted one big difference: “It doesn’t ask you for alimony.”
“Most musicians I know are only doing it for the music and the art,” said White, who’s now married to model Karen Elson, with whom he has two children. “That other stuff just comes later if they’re lucky. Definitely not in my neighborhood, playing guitar wasn’t going to get you a girl. I know that.”
As for those who forge relationships with guitar players, White says you pretty much know what you’re getting into. “It’s just like those who marry a truck driver,” he says, clearly avoiding answers that might reveal glimpses into his own private life.
At the press conference, one journo asked White what he thought of Guitar Hero. “I’ve had a lot of conversations about that over the last couple of years, and I sort of gave up trying to understand. I don’t really know. I do know it’s depressing to have a label come and tell you that this is how kids are learning about music and experiencing music,” White says. “I don’t like to tell people what format they get things in. I’m not going to say, well, I’m going to listen to some vinyl and nothing else, you have to come to my world ... but I do think there’s a loss of romance.” (That said, White Stripes and Raconteurs songs are both featured in the new Guitar Hero 5, to be released Sept. 1.)
Hero participants, including Slash, Joe Perry (No. 48 on the Rolling Stone’s guitarists list), Tom Morello (No. 26), Kirk Hammett (No. 11) and, coming this December, Eddie Van Halen (No. 70), obviously don’t agree. (And, for the record, we definitely don’t agree with RS’s rankings.) But then, those other shredders aren’t hanging out and strumming with Jimmy Page in a film by an Oscar-winning director, are they?
It Might Get Loud opens in L.A. and New York on Friday, August 14.