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Jimmy Page, Jack White Disparage Guitar Hero


There is an upcoming documentary that I have been looking forward to for months. It Might Get Loud (trailer is above) brings three generations of guitar heroes together for a chat and a jam. All in the name of the almighty guitar. Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White share their musical journey and love affair with Les Paul's, Explorer's and JB Hutto Montgomery Airline Res-O-Glas's.

At a recent press conference for the film, Jimmy and Jack took a swipe at the immensely popular Guitar Hero. They backed up what I have been saying for a couple years. The game is robbing little fat kids of actually playing music. Instead of putting video of getting a perfect score clacking the "expert" version of "Smoke on The Water" on YouTube, they should be saving their paper route money and buying a Telecaster.
It's depressing to have a label come and tell you that ['Guitar Hero'] is how kids are learning about music and experiencing music," White said. He added that although he doesn't try to dictate "which format people should get their music in...if you have to be in a video game to get in front of them, that's a little sad."

Page added that he can't imagine that people are really learning anything significant about playing instruments by playing video games. "You think of the drum part that John Bonahm did on Led Zeppelin's first track on the first album, 'Good Times Bad Times'," he said. "How many drummers in the world can play that part, let alone on Christmas morning?

You heard Jimmy Page. Once again, I am right.

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22 Comments

You sound like an old fart, Johnny. This is the world we live in now. If they learn about music through a video game, who cares? Its a lot better then learning about guns and killing people, in my opinion.. Jimmy Page should just be happy that youngsters even know who Led Zeppelin is..he will probably inspire quite a few little kids to want to *really* learn how to play a musical instrument..

BTW, in my area, kids do not have paper routes anymore..its all done by adults in cars.. :)

said CindylovesScara on June 25, 2009 8:44 AM.

I don't believe many people celebrate The Edge as a rock 'n roll guitar icon.
No one would even recognize him without his beanie and two notes.
Two out of three aint bad though. I'm looking forward to it.

said Chad on June 25, 2009 8:48 AM.

Hooray for being haters!

Its Jimmy fucking Page, show some damn respect.

said champvinyl on June 25, 2009 9:23 AM.

Cindy, that's because we have a convicted paedophile living two blocks away.

said Scaramouch on June 25, 2009 9:26 AM.

a lot of people play guitar hero. some of them also play real music - others don't. some of them spend money on controllers instead of instruments, others are inspired to seek out music in reality.

saying depressing things about music is what labels do. no reason to dump on other people's fun, especially the musicians who have agreed to appear in the games. i hate twitter as much as the next guy, but come on. spitting in a forest fire. whining isn't very becoming on a real guitar hero.

said movie looks good on June 25, 2009 10:03 AM.

Actually i know a lot of youngster that know a lot about Zeppelin. Jimmy Page is a guitar god, The Edge at least is in a incredibly celebrated group (though i think they suck) Then there's Jack White...why? Certainly there are better guys to choose from.

said etantao on June 25, 2009 10:18 AM.

Jack White is a brilliant songwriter and has an amazing approach to blues/rock guitar phrasing. I think Jimmy Page and Jack White would learn things from each other.

said Chad on June 25, 2009 11:10 AM.

We should show damn respect cause he's a guitar god? Fuck that..you need to do a little more to earn my respect. Quite frankly, I'm getting tired of hearing the music industry bitch and complain about everything. :)

Sorry, I'm feeling particularly bitchy cause I just went grocery shopping with 4 children who are on their first day of summer vacation..

said Scaramouch on June 25, 2009 12:18 PM.

Our sympathies, Boss.

I just do whatever Jack White tells me.

said Johnny Wright on June 25, 2009 12:27 PM.

For the record, that last post was not by Scaramouch!! Sorry babe, didn't realize the computer was logged on in your name :)

But reading it with your name on it made me laugh, especially the part about you being bitchy :)

said CindylovesScara on June 25, 2009 12:32 PM.

Nice try, Cindy. We're not buying it ...

said Tim on June 25, 2009 12:45 PM.

I thought about this exact thing two nights ago. My kids borrowed Guitar Hero adn had a blast with it. I thought, "We have a Gibson Les Paul six-string, a Fender Jazz bass, a lightweight acoustic guitar, two amps, a keyboard, a piano, and all kinds of accessories and y'all prefer this?"

But the game box helps with my sanity. I also have four children on vacation, but thank God they are older than Scara and Cindy's kids. I can tell them to go away and they will be gone until suppertime.

said Miss Cellania on June 25, 2009 1:21 PM.

I think I must have a little PMS today.

said Scaramouch on June 25, 2009 1:42 PM.

And for the record, I am SO desperate for The Beatles Rockband, you have no idea.

said Scaramouch on June 25, 2009 1:45 PM.

Guitar Hero teaches you as much about music as Space Invaders teaches you about being an astronaut. It's a fun little diversion, but you walk away with absolutely nothing that enhances you appreciation of music, and people fixate so much on the button pushing that they tune out the music they're really listening to. You'd be better off actually just listening to the albums than having some button laden distraction in your hands.

Learning any instrument is hard. I teach guitar and tell every student that the first 6 months suck. "Can you put up with 6 months of absolutely hating this before it starts to get kinda fun? If not, save your money and pass on the lessons." After 30 years of playing I still have times when I'm learning something new and I'm thinking "This sucks."

However, too many people buy Guitars now with no real intention of ever being good guitar players, so why not let them focus that energy on Guitar Hero? What is the shame in that? I also have a large number of friends who bought a Strat and never learned to play it.

Of course, Page is Gibson and Fender's little butt boy and has a vested interest in selling more guitars. He's not as shameless as Jeff Beck, but both guys get a good amount from Fender and Gibson to promote their guitars.

Jimmy Page is important/legendary less for his playing and more for his riff writing and studio techniques that revolutionized the way Rock and Roll was captured on tape. Distance miking, etc... Every guitar god of the 70's owes Page big time for getting that big sound. Listen to 60's guitar bands and they're all tinny and brittle. Page used small amps and multiple mics to get that huge 70's guitar sound. Compare 1967's "Strange Brew" and "Sunshine of your Love" to 1969's "Whole Lotta Love". Trust me if Clapton and Cream could have had that big booming guitar sound on Disraeli Gears, they would have. Instead, 1970's "Layla" produced by Tommy Dowd saw Clapton introduce Page's techniques for getting a big guitar sound.

Page the guitarist was good and technical, but Page the producer was legendary.

said LostInDaJungle on June 25, 2009 2:01 PM.

Lost, now, I actually felt like I learnt something from YBNBY today. Thanks you.

said Scaramouch on June 25, 2009 2:44 PM.

"Can you put up with 6 months of absolutely hating this before it starts to get kinda fun?"

I concur. It took me 5 months to be able to change chords. Then it suddenly clicked. I'm still crap, though. But it is a rewarding hobby.

said Johnny Wright on June 25, 2009 3:16 PM.

"you walk away with absolutely nothing that enhances you appreciation of music, and people fixate so much on the button pushing that they tune out the music they're really listening to."

As an unashamed fan of the game, I'm inclined to defend it against blanket generalizations. Trying to master the difficult settings on the best songs isn't always about coordinating which buttons to press - it's also an exercise in rhythmic comprehension, pattern recognition, structural understanding. I don't think it actually can improve musicianship, but I often notice subtleties in songs I hadn't heard before "playing" them in guitar hero. To really enjoy the game, you don't tune out the music - you tune out the buttons.

said movie looks good on June 25, 2009 6:42 PM.

i will watch the documentary just because i'm a fan of music in general. time may tell with edge and white but the only one of those 3 that will draw my attention is JP. i'm sure it won't be a "last waltz" type of documentary but i'll give it a fair shake.

btw, if you're a fan of music and havent checked out the "last waltz" you're missing out big time.

said phatlard on June 25, 2009 7:10 PM.

I know I am a Jack White homer. He's one of my favorite artists. But trust me when I say he's one of the most gifted players of his generation. There's a reason that he is lauded by Bob Dylan, Pete Townshend, Keith Richards and Jimmy Page. There's a reason that he is invited to play with those legends.

said Johnny Wright on June 25, 2009 8:14 PM.

I've never played guitar or GH. Do the dials go up to 11?

said E on June 26, 2009 12:03 AM.

Yes, actually, they do. Also, after you play the song "Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight" in GH2, the drummer explodes.

said movie looks good on June 26, 2009 10:46 AM.
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