Well, today I watched the documentary called It Might Get Loud, a showcase of the muse, interest and conversations of three guitarists, Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Jack White (The White Stripes) and The Edge (U2). And I have to say its the most inspiring thing I have seen/been subjected to for a long long time.
The film starts with a scene where Jack White is working with a hammer and nails on some device that involves a steel wire suspended from a coke glass bottle hemmed in on a wooden plank and held firm to the other end of the wooden plank. At the other side is a guitar pick up that is connected to an amplifier through a guitar cable. When he has struck the last nail, he strikes the steel wire and it gives off a twang not different from the electric guitar twang.
The he mutters, "Who needs an electric guitar?"
Jack White is a patron of the minimalistic idea. You don't need much to tell a story.
He was inspired as an artist and musician when he was listening to an American Black singer who recorded a song without any musical instrument but just snapping his fingers and singing along. No orchestra. No guitar accompaniment. Just him.
As Jack White comments, here was a man "by himself against the whole world. It didn't matter that he was snapping his fingers in the wrong beat.."
That is a strong example of artists who believe in themselves. Who believe in what they can do. Who knows just what they need to speak. I want to be like that. Just my pen and paper (sticky note? :D). Me against the whole world. Not for hate or love. Just because I want to. Just because I can.
Jack White never wanted to become a guitarist. He said, "I never wanted to play guitar. Everyone plays the guitar. What's the point?" How he became one in the end, though, beats me. But then he isn't just any guitarist who ends up creating sounds with G D and E and B. I am loving The White Stripes, the band that he and his sister are the two members.
Yeah, what's the point of doing something that everyone does? That according to me too is what I cannot understand about too many people. They suck up to popular ideas instead of making new ideas by themselves. What joy does it give to do what others are doing already. What's fun without a bit of risk in life? What's fun without a bit of madness? What's fun without trying out a few new songs, words, people?
Jimmy Page, another of the three guitarists, was going to become a Biological Researcher. When he was just a young dazed newby in the music industry, some TV person interviewed him and asked him what he wants to be. And Jimmy replied grinning, "Biological Research."
Thank God you never went there.
Do something different sometimes. Say 'no' sometimes. Just because we are free people. Just because we can. And only after trying let's decide whether we like it or not. 'No' is not always negative, you know. Too much of 'yes' will snuff us out.