RUMBLE ON LINK WRAY!!!
Link Wray Dead at age 76...
I just got word this weekend that rock guitar pioneer Link Wray has passed away earlier this month (November 5th 2005) at his home in Copenhagen Denmark. For those that aren’t aware, Link Wray is one of the most identifiable and influential guitar players in the history of Rock & Roll, even though he’s not a household name his sound has been an inspiration to legions of players since the late fifties. Often called the first heavy metal guitar player Links sound was different than anything that had come before filled with shrill squeals and rhythmic bravado he set the pace for the underground players of the 60’s & 70’s the likes of the stooges, the MC5, and even a lot of what Richards (with the Stones) and Townsend (with the Who) were doing. Wray was a ground breaker mixing Rockabilly, Blues, Jazz and even Surf among other styles into his sound you might remember his memorable guitar instrumentals featuring prominently in the film Pulp Fiction. He was an awe inspiring live performer and though it was quite unfortunate that I was un-able to see him on his last stop in the Twin Cities; as it happened it was February 18th 2003 when he was scheduled to perform at a club called the Fine Line when his opening act managed to set the club on fire with some flash explosives as a part of their set, thankfully no one was hurt though the club suffered nearly a million dollars in damage, and all this just 3 days before the tragic night club fire that killed 119 people in Rhode Island ( we here in the cities that were in the club at the time definitely count our blessings) But I did have the chance to see Link perform a few times in the late 70’s when he was playing with Rockabilly revivalist Robert Gordon as well as 2 times in the 80’s solo with his own band, every time he hit the stage he poured himself 100% into every note he played. Link Wray was the original BAD ASS GUITAR MONSTER and there are guys today that can only dream of touching a small fraction of his intensity.
Rest well Link and keep that band up there rockin’!!!!