Mark Fleischmann
September 20, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Guitar

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
guest performer
David Gilmour, B.B. King, Mark Knopfler, Les Paul
distributor
Warner Reprise
genre
Documentary, musical

We gave it a B+

Emotion, psychology, and ”the sex thing” crowd out strings, chords, and frets in this subjective meditation on the guitar. The host is Jeff ”Skunk” Baxter, one of Steely Dan’s ex-guitarists, and he’s less interested in presenting a dry how-to than in riffing on the instrument as a highly charged talisman. The most inspiring of several interviews in Guitar is with Tommy Iommi, who used prosthetics to overcome the loss of all his fingertips on his left hand and gained fame as the power-chord king of Black Sabbath. Also featured are such masters as B.B. King, Les Paul, Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler, and Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour. Baxter travels to Abbey Road Studios and the Gibson guitar factory before jamming with 500 guitarists on ”Johnny B. Goode” at a Hollywood music school. Though soft at the core, the hour-long program is never less than sincere and occasionally rousing, especially during the Skunk’s duets with his heroes. B+

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