by Adam Gold
Achtung! That’s German for “Attention!” Have I got yours? … Good, let’s blog it out.
In case you missed it, documentarian Davis Guggenheim’s It Might Get Loud is a film about guitars and the men that love them. In it, Guggenheim pulls an eHarmony on Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White — matching up the three famed but aesthetically and generationally contrasting guitar gods based on 29 dimensions of compatibility in their abilities to rock, scientifically proven to foster a conversation about how hard being talented, influential and, ultimately, successful fucking rules. “I plan to trick both of these guys into teaching me all their tricks,” the film captures White musing in anticipation of this meeting of the musical minds.
According to this recent news item, such arts of misdirection and slide of slowhand may have apparently paid off for White, who is slated to appear on a forthcoming tribute record to U2’s (that’s The Edge’s band, FYI) 1991 landmark LP Achtung Baby, which Q magazine is compiling in celebration of the album’s 20th anniversary.
White will put his spin on Achtung album-closer “Love Is Blindness,” which — if I’m to let the lifelong U2 fan in me out to editorialize a bit — boasts one of the greatest, most anguished, unrestrained, yet meticulously composed guitar solos in The Edge’s arsenal. Like, if he were Kirk Hammett, this shit would be his “Unforgiven.” Perhaps White’s trickery netted him some key pointers on how to play the solo, in case he intends on whipping up a shot-for-shot remake. Or perhaps he’s gonna adapt it in his own style. Either way, it might get good, not to mention loud. Check out the original (below) for reference. Solo starts around the 3:18 mark:
But … how much louder might the “Love Is Blindness” solo get were a certain Led Zeppelin guitarist to play it with a fuckin’ fiddle-bow, eh?
Appearing alongside J-Dub on this tribute to Achtung Baby — which is also set to get an epic reissue treatment by year’s end — is Depeche Mode, contributing their take on the so cruelly underrated “So Cruel,” Patti Smith, taking on U2 fan fave and concert-staple “Until the End of the World,” and Damien Rice, firming up his buffalo stance for a rendition of “One.” For all we know, with other artists on the tribute still TBA, Jimmy Page may very well have his name attached to a cut. Maybe he’ll reunite with David Coverdale on a cover of “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses?” — a song that need not remain the same as its original recording. Though I really, really (really) doubt it. It’s been a long time since Page rock and rolled. Maybe he didn’t get the call. Seems like it might get loud in Jimmy Page’s cry room, if you know what I mean.
Dazed, confused, and remembering the good times he had with The Edge in that movie, reconciling them with the bad times of this rejection — “Where did our communication break down,” he may inquisitively ramble on to himself, “Who will help me in my time of crying?”
Some dude once imparted some sage pearls, stating, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” I think it might have been Killers singer Brandon Flowers — can’t recall at the moment. Anyway, not important. The point is, do we, as a musical community, want to hear The Edge’s reverb-laden, delayed licks played with a goddamn bow or not?
That’s why I’m starting the Coalition to Reunite Coverdale/Page (or The Firm, Subject to Availability) to Cover “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses?” Leave your name in the comments to have it added to the petition. Once this thread reaches a million comments, I’ll email the link to Bono.
Who’s with me?