The Power HISTORY
A Native American guitarist who served in the Korean War, Link Wray was known for his raw and dirty approach to instrumental guitar, often performing songs named for American Indian tribes (“Apache”, “Comanche” and his native “Shawnee”), but it’s his first hit, “Rumble”, that redefined the guitar.
The song was even banned in several cities because it was feared its subject matter would incite gang violence – even though it didn’t have any lyrics! Wray continued playing right up to his death in 2005 at the age of 76, and some recently unearthed recordings are planned to be released this year. GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS
“Rumble” pioneered two crucial building blocks for what would come to be known as rock guitar: the power chord, and distortion (which Wray achieved by poking holes in his amp’s speakers, an irreversible mod that led to an irresistible guitar sound).
Part of the magic of “Rumble” is in how Wray lets his chords hang threateningly in the air. It sounds like something bad is about to go down. WHERE TO START Rumble It’s the perfect beginners’ guitar song. BOSS LEVEL Rumble Again, but this time with the right attitude, which you can only get after you’ve lived a little.