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


With Link being a 2018 Rock Hall nominee, decided to pay a visit to the hallowed Hall. Here’s our report.

Before I left Florida, I hit my local shirt shop and found the loudest shirt in the place - neon green. It was so damn bright I thought it would glow in the dark. I had them print in big block letters: INDUCT LINK WRAY

I planned to get pictures everywhere I could, and blast them on Twitter and Facebook every chance I got. That idea ended up working better than I could have imagined. I tweeted a pic of me standing outside of the building in front of the Rock Hall sign and by the time I walked in the door, the Rock Hall had already re-tweeted it to their thousands of followers! A pic of the INDUCT LINK WRAY shirt AND the Link Wray website address!

But onto the Hall...
It was impressive, very well laid out, and covered every genre of rock as well as pop and hip hop. The early “rockin’ country” artists (Hank Sr., Bob Wills) were relegated to the Early Influence area. They did have a nice display of early Les Paul guitars but unless I missed it, other than Les I found zero jazz... and I’m one of those “rock in my Rock Hall” guys, so that was OK with me.

There were interactive theaters, a 50 Years of Rolling Stone exhibit, an Elvis display, blah, blah, blah... But, that’s not why you are here. Let’s talk about LINK. Actually, thanks to the new GUITAR display, he looms pretty large at the Rock Hall!

On the third floor, the Rock Hall just put up a huge exhibit on the electric guitar, showcasing 15 guitars from notable players. I thought a big plus was that the display was NOT your standard Page, Beck, Clapton “rock gods” exhibit. There was a bit of that - guitars from Jerry Garcia, John Lennon, Billie Joe of Green Day - but the cool part was that the majority of the display was of guitarists the “average” Rock fan (i.e. a majority of the Fan Poll voters) may not have heard of. So there was an educational component there and kudos to the Rock Hall for that.

So what about Link?

Link Wray, guitar, Stratocaster, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The FIRST guitar you see in this display is a black Fender that Link used on one of his last tours.
The FIRST photo you see on the video screen is Link.
The FIRST sound clip you hear is RUMBLE.

There’s also a video display featuring Link in “The Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.”

Do I have any criticisms? No, but I do have some suggestions…

  • The display plaque has Link at #67 in Rolling Stone’s “Top 100” guitarists. On a later list, he was in the Top 50. But the “average rock fan” would never notice.
  • The photo of Link used in the exhibit had him playing a different guitar than the one displayed. Videos and photos of other artists were of them using the actual guitar displayed. But the “average rock fan” would never notice.
  • When I visited the Hall in 1993, the Inductee area was at the very top floor, with signatures of inductees etched in backlit glass in a pitch black room. It was very cool and had a lot of “wow” factor. Today, inductees are plaques on a wall. Nice, but not as “prestigious” as the earlier display.
  • Finally, and most shocking... unless I missed it, there was ZERO information on the 2018 nominees to be found. Racks packed with brochures on the inductees and maps of the Rock Hall, but no flyers on voting for the 2018 nominees!

Almost forgot! About a half dozen of the employees of the Rock Hall said they liked the shirt and agreed it’s time for Link to get in.

All in all, recommended. I think the guitar exhibit runs for the next few months. Hopefully, they’ll expand Link’s artifacts on display, oh... maybe around April! - Greg