LINK WRAY

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's most glaring omission

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LINK WRAY. Father of the Power Chord. Creator of Distortion.

LINK WRAY was the first to use intentional distortion in a rock & roll recording.

LINK WRAY is credited with inventing the POWER CHORD, the “modus operandi” in rock & roll.

LINK WRAY is the only person to have an instrumental banned from radio airplay. It was feared that his song RUMBLE would incite teenage gang violence.

LINK WRAY was the first Native American rock star with RUMBLE selling over a million copies in 1958.

LINK WRAY is in the top 50 of the 100 GREATEST GUITARISTS selected by Rolling Stone magazine.

LINK WRAY has influenced Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Jimmy Page, Neil Young, Iggy Pop, Bruce Springsteen, Steven Van Zandt, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Robbie Robertson, Slash and Pete Townshend as well as Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys and countless thousands of other musicians the world over.

LINK WRAY has been inducted into the Native American Music Hall of Fame, the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame, the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, the Washington (DC) Area Music Association Hall of Fame, the Southern Legends Hall of Fame and many others.

LINK WRAY produced the sole LP from the band “Eggs Over Easy,” who are credited with starting the pub rock movement, and laying the foundation for UK punk.

LINK WRAY has been featured in the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of the Native American Indian "Up Where We Belong" exhibits in Washington DC, New York City and Canada.

LINK WRAY's music crossed over to the hip hop community when the band Death Grips heavily sampled RUMBLE in their song Spread Eagle Across the Block.

LINK WRAY’s music has been featured in such television and film as Pulp Fiction, Independence Day, Desperado, The Sopranos, Blow and others.

LINK WRAY is honored in his hometown with an exhibit at the Dunn (NC) Area Historical Museum, as well as a marker near the location of his childhood home.

LINK WRAY DAY has been declared by Governor’s Proclamation in the states of Maryland and North Carolina.

LINK WRAY’s instrumental RUMBLE is in the National Recording Registry housed in the U.S. Library of Congress. RUMBLE was recognized as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically important and/or inform or reflect life in the United States.” RUMBLE is one of just over 50 rock songs that have received this honor.

LINK WRAY was a nominee for the Class of 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

LINK WRAY has been the subject of featured releases during Record Store Day in 2014, 2016 and 2017. His LPs LINK WRAY, BEANS AND FATBACK, MORDICAI JONES and BE WHAT YOU WANT TO have all enjoyed reissues in 2017, the first time in over 40 years.

LINK WRAY is featured in the film RUMBLE - INDIANS WHO ROCKED THE WORLD. The trailer for this Sundance and HotDocs award winning documentary has in excess of one million views on ThePlaylist. RUMBLE is currently playing at theaters throughout the United States and Canada and in festivals throughout the world.

LINK WRAY will get the full biography treatment with the new book, THE FIRST MAN IN BLACK - The Untold Story of Link Wray, scheduled for release in fall 2017.

THERE ARE THOSE THAT BLAZE THE TRAIL AND THERE ARE THOSE THAT REAP THE REWARDS.

LINK WRAY WAS A TRAILBLAZER.


“There might not be a Who, if there were no Link Wray. There might not be a Jeff Beck Group if there were no Link Wray. There might not be a Led Zeppelin, if there were no Link Wray.”
TAYLOR HAWKINS - Foo Fighters
“RUMBLE was the rawest form of guitar that all the guys I listened to played. That’s where it started.”
SLASH - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee
“It’s not fair to judge a man by the color of his skin, or the size of his wallet; but rather the number of Link Wray records that he owns.
J. ALBERT CRUBBS
“…there was alot about the record RUMBLE that was absolutely right…Oh my God. That record was really important….When it hit was a hit on the radio, all the kids were tuned into it - not just me. Everybody understood: Man, that’s so cool."
JOHN FOGERTY - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee
“He was one of the first that really had a tone that pointed the way to the future.”
WAYNE KRAMER - MC5
“Without Link Wray, a different landscape of rock and roll. Power chords motherfucker!”
MICHAEL DES BARRES - Power Station, Chequred Past, Little Steven’s Underground Garage, and a whole lot more…
“I love Link Wray. I just came to play…”
JERRY GARCIA, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, when asked about getting paid for his work on Link’s BE WHAT YOU WANT TO album
“It changed everything: RUMBLE made an indelible mark on the whole evolution of where rock and roll was gonna go.”
ROBBIE ROBERTSON - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee
“Here comes Link Wray with the theme song for juvenile delinquency…I’m not suprised it was banned”
STEVEN VAN ZANDT - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, on RUMBLE
“The sound of that guitar is the key of Link Wray. It’s interesting how much of the Native American element just filters through.”
MARTIN SCORSESE, on RUMBLE
“I remember being made very uneasy the first time I heard it, and yet excited by the savage guitar sound.”
PETE TOWNSHEND - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, on RUMBLE
“Link Wray…he was one of the forefathers…the Mount Rushmore of rock and roll.”
STEVIE SALAS - rock guitarist, author, Executive Producer of RUMBLE
“RUMBLE is one of the great innovative, influential, mind blazing rock and roll records ever.”
PETER CASE - The Plimsouls, The Nerves
“It’s the sexiest, toughest chord change in all of rock and roll.”
STEVEN VAN ZANDT - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, on RUMBLE
“Link Wray is rock and roll.”
DAN AUERBACH - The Black Keys, The Arcs
“…I freaked out over the opening track, THE SWAG, by Link Wray…I admired it more than anything I had ever heard.”
IGGY POP - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, talking about his association with film maker John Waters
“Possibly the ultimate rock and roll guitarist…”
SOUNDFLY.COM
“If you considered yourself a real rock and roll guitar player, you had to learn RUMBLE. It was raw, dirty and had that rebellious spirit to it.”
ROBBIE ROBERTSON - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee
"He's the man who invented punk rock, heavy metal and every other form of sonic nastiness that we currently hold dear."
DANNY FROST - New Musical Express
“It’s important people learn he was a lot more than one song. Although that one song was enough!”
STEVEN VAN ZANDT - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee
“Link Wray had the rawest sound, just dirty and up to no good. I had no choice but to play guitar.”
ROBBIE ROBERTSON - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee
“…like a cross between Jagger and Van Morrison. Even sometimes like Robbie Robertson. While the above men and myself were learning - Link had obviously been living.”
PETE TOWNSHEND - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, on Link’s vocals
“If there wasn’t no Link Wray, there wouldn’t be alot of things that happened.”
IGGY POP - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee
“You want to keep alive the inner Link Wray.”
ELVIS COSTELLO - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, when asked how he plays guitar
“There is no doubt that rock and roll would not be what it is without the contribution of Link Wray.”
TERRY STEWART - past President & CEO, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
“If I could travel back in time to see one band, it would be Link Wray and the Ray Men.”
NEIL YOUNG - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee
“Perhaps the greatest rock ’n’ roll record of all time…”
JIM JAMES - My Morning Jacket, on the LINK WRAY album
“I was at the Student Union…I heard this music…I left school emotionally at that moment. The moment I heard RUMBLE.”
IGGY POP - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee
"What Beethoven said in four notes, Link Wray said in three."
LLOYD MYATT
“He was a huge influence. When I saw him, it was one of the greatest shows I ever saw in my life.”
DAN AUERBACH - The Black Keys, The Arcs
“Without it, rock ’n roll as we know it WOULD NOT EXIST.”
SUNDAZED RECORDS, on RUMBLE
“RUMBLE had the power to help me say, “Fuck it, I’m going to be a musician.”
IGGY POP - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee
“Link Wray: Your favorite guitar players favorite guitar player.”
@manicmonkeymind
“The first time I heard RUMBLE…that was something that had so much profound attitude. It really does.”
JIMMY PAGE - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee
“I don’t care about (who’s not in) the Rock Hall, except for Link Wray. He’s not in the Rock Hall.”
DAN AUERBACH - The Black Keys, The Arcs
“(Link Wray) had the most apocalyptic, monumental sound I ever heard - real emotional and so simple and so violent.”
POISON IVY - The Cramps
“Link Wray’s use of feedback and distortion made RUMBLE an electric guitar snarl for the ages.”
ROBERT ITO - New York Times
"He's the king. If it hadn't been for Link Wray and RUMBLE, I'd have never picked up a guitar."
PETE TOWNSHEND - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee
"Link Wray...he was the beginning of Grunge. Way before anybody you know."
NEIL YOUNG - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee
“…I saw Link before I had any of his records – when I was 15 - he hit right into RUMBLE and it was the loudest I had ever heard a guitar…it blew my mind, absolutely….”
DAN AUERBACH - The Black Keys, The Arcs
“Robert Gordon came out with Link Wray on lead guitar - it was masterful…one of the most sonically exploding kind of sounds I’d ever heard.”
DWIGHT YOAKAM
"Wray's voice is vital, driving and somehow retains the Brando / Dean ambience."
JON LANDAU - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominating Committee Chairman, on the LINK WRAY album.
"With RUMBLE, the guitar arrived as an instrument of pure menace."
COLIN ESCOTT - rock historian
"I would love to see Link Wray recognized (by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame).”
STEVEN VAN ZANDT - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee
"I learned alot about intensity and commitment and colors of sound from Link. He was one of a kind."
ANTON FIG - The David Letterman Show
"The musical equivalent of football's forearm shiver. Short. Nasty. Potentially lethal."
DAVE MARSH - rock critic, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominating Committee member, on RUMBLE
“…Jimi Hendrix, whose astonishing cover of THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER at Woodstock in 1969 is unthinkable without the wild and wooly chaos of RUMBLE.”
SLANT MAGAZINE
"Wray created the overdriven rock guitar sound taken up by Townshend, Hendrix and others."
DAVID FRICKE - rock critic, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominating Committee member
"Every time a modern rocker slashes out a power chord...every time a 60's collector gives the "My Generation" or "Led Zeppelin II" LPs a spin, it all comes back to the fact that Wray showed the way..."
CUB CODA - Brownsville Station, rock historian
"(Link Wray's) album is so unique, so much a part of a genre all his own..."
LENNY KAYE - Patti Smith Group, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominating Committee member, on the LINK WRAY album
"I like Link Wray’s instrumentals - they weren’t just your typical surf stuff. To me, it felt like it had something much more intense going on."
MIKE NESS - Social Distortion
"RUMBLE is the greatest instrumental ever."
BOB DYLAN - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee
"In my eigth-grade class we had an assigment to write a letter to famous or historical person. Most kids wrote letters to the president. I wrote my letter to Link Wray."
DEKE DICKERSON - Americana musician, historian, writer, collector, producer, guitar geek
"I have always liked Link Wray. He’s a badass…"
HENRY ROLLINS - Black Flag, Rollins Band

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Watch the trailer!
See the film!
RUMBLE - THE INDIANS WHO ROCKED THE WORLD