Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Rock 'n roll disease history moment
Link Wray was an aspiring musician when he contracted Tuberculosis during the Korean war and ultimately had a lung removed. Doctors apparently advised him that his singing career was over - I guess in those days a full complement of lungs was considered necessary for a vocalist. Wray devoted himself to his guitar, completely revolutionizing the way the instrument was used.
Quite simply, Link Wray invented the power chord, the major modus operandi of modern rock guitarists. Listen to any of the tracks he recorded between Rumble in 1958 through his Swan recordings in the early '60s and you'll hear the blueprints for heavy metal, thrash, you name it.
(All Music biography of Link Wray)
Wray's most distinctive record, Rumble, also has the distinction of being banned on several radio stations in the United States on the grounds that it glorified juvenile delinquency. An impressive feat for a song with no lyrics.