Guitarist Link Wray (May 2, 1929 – 2005) was one of the first Native American recording artists to produce a major hit…
Rumble was released in 1958 to immediate acclaim by young people (it is one of the only instrumentals to be banned from airplay, due to its supposed ability to incite rebellion and rioting) – later generations will know it from the soundtrack of Pulp Fiction…
Link played a heavy, distorted lead guitar and his raw sound has influenced power guitarists from Pete Townsend to Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Marc Bolan, Neil Young and Bob Dylan.
Wray lived his last decades in Denmark and is buried in Copenhagen…
“Eventually the instrumental came to the attention of record producer Archie Bleyer of Cadence Records, who hated it, particularly after Wray poked holes in his amplifier’s speakers to make the recording sound more like the live version. But Bleyer’s stepdaughter loved it, so he released it despite his misgivings. Phil Everly heard it and suggested the title “Rumble”, as it had a rough sound and said it sounded like a street fight.”
“The 1980 Adam and the Ants song “Killer in the Home”, from their Kings of the Wild Frontier album, is based on the same refrain that is featured in “Rumble” (Ants guitarist Marco Pirroni has cited Link Wray as a major influence).”
“In an interview with Stephen Colbert on April 29, 2013, Iggy Pop stated that he “left school emotionally” at the moment he first heard “Rumble” at the student union, leading him to pursue music as a career.”
“It is also one of the first tunes to use the power chord, the “major modus operandi of the modern rock guitarist.”