EASY EYE SOUND RELEASES “SON OF RUMBLE,” A NEVER BEFORE HEARD TRACK FROM THE LINK WRAY ARCHIVES!
“Link Wray was a huge influence on all modern rock guitar players. If they say he didn’t influence (them), they’re lying!” - Wayne Kramer, MC5
“Rumble had the power to help me say f*ck it,’ I’m going to be a musician.” - Iggy Pop
In 2018, it will have been 60 years since Link Wray released “Rumble,” and changed the face and sound of rock and roll forever. Dan Auerbach’s label, Easy Eye Sound, will release “Son of Rumble,” Link’s intended, but never released follow-up to the song that introduced the world to power chords and intentional distortion. “Son of Rumble” is a never released track from the Link Wray archives, and you can listen to it here. The song, along with “Whole Lotta Talking,” another never heard track, will be released on a 7” vinyl at a later date, and can be pre-ordered here.
Link’s “Rumble” became a flash point for countless musicians including Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Pete Townshend, Iggy Pop, Steven Van Zandt, Jeff Beck and Elvis Costello. The song was banned in New York, Boston and Detroit for fear it would incite juvenile violence, making Link Wray the only artist in history to have a banned instrumental. 33 years after becoming eligible, this unsung hero of rock and roll is currently a Rock Hall nominee for the class of 2018, and fans can vote for his inclusion with a daily ballot through December 5th here.
Link Wray is one of the featured artists in the Sundance award winning “RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World,” a documentary about the profound, essential and indelible impact of Indigenous People on American Music. This film includes interviews with Dan Auerbach, Iggy Pop, George Clinton, Slash, Steven Tyler and other notable musicians. You can learn more and watch the film’s trailer here.
The story of Link Wray sounds like something straight out of a Hollywood movie. In 1937, a boy from the Shawnee Indian tribe was taught guitar by an African American traveling carny worker named Hambone in the segregated south. In 1953, that boy became a Western Swing musician and played the wake of Hank Williams. By 1956, he was a Korean War veteran who lost a lung to TB and was told he’d never sing again. Yet, Link Wray spent the next half-century as the only one-lung singer in rock and roll, and laid the foundation for what the genre would become. The impact of Link Wray, who placed in the top 50 of Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Guitarists of All Time, can be heard in generations of American and British metal, punk, garage, grunge, thrash and psychobilly rockers, all of whom have claimed him and “Rumble” (and the follow-ups “Raw-Hide,” “Jack the Ripper,” “Ace of Spades” and many more) as their own.
a. Son of Rumble
b. Whole Lotta Talking
For more information on Link Wray, please contact Greg Laxton (LinkWray.email@example.com).
For more information on this release and Easy Eye Sound, please contact Mary Moyer (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Emilio Herce (email@example.com) at Q-Prime 212-302-9790
ORDER THE VINYL
WATCH THE VIDEO
Bring the story of Link Wray and RUMBLE into your classroom. Introduce your students to important Native American musicians! Be sure to check out the lesson “Link Wray, Rumble and Growing Up Shawnee Poor.”
If you are a teacher, know of a teacher, or want to take a cue from Link and DIY to a group of kids, head on over to Teach Rock!
THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME
“Link’s too good for that place.” “It’s too corporate…” “It should be called the Pop Music Hall of Fame.” Hey, I get it. Link was eligible for induction at the Rock Hall’s inception, 33 years ago. With each passing year, his omission is more glaring. Love it or hate it, an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is an honor. Link’s legacy deserves this, and it means the world to his family and fans.
THE FAN BALLOT
The “fan ballot” is comprised of the Top 5 vote-getters in the fan poll. At the time of this posting, Bon Jovi leads with over 660,000 votes, and a total of 2.4 million votes going to the Top Five.
The fan ballot is ONE Rock Hall ballot to be counted with the other 900 ballot holders, who are previous Rock Hall inductees and industry people. So, if one were to lobby and flip two of those ballot holders, the fan ballot is effectively null and void.
Today, Link’s first generation fans are pushing 80 years of age. Most are not going to be online. On the flip side, Bon Jovi’s first generation fans have smart phones and can easily vote daily.
Don’t put a lot of weight in the fan ballot.
THE INDUCTION PROCESS
The only “cut in stone” requirement for induction is that the artist must wait 25 years after their first release to become eligible for nomination. After that, it’s all subjective.
Let’s take a look at the categories for which Link qualifies.
This category honors bands or solo artists which demonstrate musical excellence. Includes, but is not limited to, influence on other performers or genres; length and depth of career and catalog; stylistic innovations; or superior technique and skills. LINK FITS.
These artists pre-date the birth of rock and roll, but have had a profound impact on the music’s evolution and its iconic artists. LINK FITS. We blogged about it last year.
THE AWARD FOR MUSICAL EXCELLENCE
Honors performers, songwriters and producers who have changed the course of music history. These artists have dedicated their lives to creating influential, important music infused with originality, and have achieved a level of timeless distinction. LINK FITS.
I used to say I’d like to see Link inducted as a Performer, but Early Influence would be okay too. However, after reading the criteria for the Musical Excellence category, I feel that Link would be honored to know that a group of industry folks and artists like him thought he changed the course of history with his music.
Link’s legacy is on a high like never before. This year, his music has been placed in national commercials. LPs, which were out of print for decades, enjoyed sold-out reissues. There’s a biography due out in a few months. And to cap it off, there’s the film “Rumble.” It played at sold-out screenings all over the world, won Sundance and a dozen other awards and is under consideration for an Oscar nomination next month. Not bad for a rocker who’s been gone a dozen years. There are a few more surprises in the works, and it is going to be a banner year for Link Wray.
But again, let’s not minimize the honor that being in the Rock Hall will bring Link and his family and his legacy. His is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s most glaring omission. But the Rock Hall can change that. Now, more than any time in the past two decades, this is Link’s year. - Greg
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!
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?
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
The award-winning documentary RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World tells the story of a profound, essential, and, until now, missing chapter in the history of American music: the Indigenous influence. The Rock and Roll Forever Foundation is helping bring that story to American classrooms with five, standards-aligned RUMBLE lesson plans.
At the 2018 SXSWEdu conference in Austin, Texas, the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation will explore the educational possibilities of RUMBLE through a panel discussion featuring director/producer Catherine Bainbridge, producer Christina Fon, and Smithsonian Curator of Culture and the Arts John Troutman. Foundation Director Bill Carbone will lead panel members in discussions of their personal research, and use materials within the five TeachRock RUMBLE lesson plans to consider how footage of artists such as Link Wray, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, and the Black Eyed Peas can empower Social Studies, ELA, History and teachers across disciplines to engage students in discussions of Native American life both past and present.