Turn It Up!
Studio: 71st Street Entertainment
Review Date: February 28, 2016
I remember falling in love with all that the guitar symbolized to me at the tender age of four. My mom and dad took me to see an Elvis Presley movie and I was struck by the fact that it got the girls’ attention and it seemed to help him fight better (at least, in the movies it always did).
I got a “toy” guitar when I was in third grade, my first real guitar handed down to me in sixth grade and my first new guitar bought by my parents when I was in eighth grade. However, it wasn’t until about fifteen years ago that I bought my first electric guitar (an Epiphone Les Paul, if you must know).
Play them? Bwah-ha-ha-ha! Only in my dreams. But that’s not why you’re reading this review.
Celebrating the electric guitar, the full-length documentary film, “Turn It Up!”, is a cinematic and auditory tour de force. The film – shot in high definition – is a combination of stunning photography, musical performances, world-class collections, and in-depth interviews – from international legends to “everyman” collectors. Released by 71st Street Entertainment, Turn It Up! is available as a two-disc DVD set, two-disc Blu-ray set (with 2nd disc in standard definition only), and as a digital download (does not include bonus set).
Created and directed by Robert Radler (Best Of The Best 1 & 2, SS United States: Lady In Waiting, The Substitute – also, watch for the Boomerocity interview with Mr. Radler very soon!), Turn It Up! is an emotional exploration of the electric guitar and the people who fall under its spell. Narrated by actor/musician Kevin Bacon, the film features interviews with an array of guitar royalty: the late Les Paul and B.B. King (in one of his final interviews), Slash, Robby Krieger, Paul Stanley, Boomerocity friend - Steve Lukather, Nancy Wilson, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, Albert Lee, Ana Popovic, Jerry Cantrell, Steve Howe, John 5 and many others.
The Turn It Up! DVD and Blu-ray sets not only include the full documentary film, but the “Conversations and Extras” bonus disc, which boasts extended interviews; scenes with the Burst Brothers; mini-documentaries on RKS Guitars and Seymour Duncan; Robby Krieger noodling on his guitar; and a performance of Jeff “Skunk” Baxter from the film S.S. United States: Lady In Waiting.
Turn It Up! simultaneously honors the beloved electrified six-string and recognizes the rich bond between musician and instrument, and the pilgrimage to find the ultimate guitar and perfect tone. From the mouths of those who invent them, build them, sell them, collect them, and those who make them sing, the film reveals the deep cultural love affair of the world’s most popular instrument, and explores its past, present, and future.
It’s the sound of rebellion, heartbreak, joy, fear, madness, pain, and all-out exuberance – the electric guitar has been a beacon of self-expression for generations, and Turn It Up! details exactly why.
Now, if I can just remember how to tune my guitar and strum the few chords I think I remember . . .