Link Wray Dead at 76
Link Wray died in his Copenhagen home on November 5th at the age of 76. Sometimes credited as the ‘inventor’ of the power chord, Wray was an important figure in rock music, especially in the aesthetic development of subversive and underground forms of rock music. He was buried in Copenhagen on Friday, November 18th, with his family in attendance.
Wray’s most famous song was “Rumble,” which became a success in 1958. Despite its relative tameness today, the discordant sound of the single back then was enough to get banned by many radio stations. Though he didn’t win over conservative music listeners, he influenced everyone from John Lennon and Quentin Tarantino to Pete Townsend and John Kerry.
In addition to the power chord (a mainstay in punk and heavy metal), Wray was also known to experiment with the clarity of sound. As stated on his official website: “Link virtually invented fuzz tone by deliberately punching holes in his amplifier speakers. He was also a true pioneer of the use of distortion on instrumental rock recordings.”
Wray continued touring the latter part of his life, playing 40 concerts in America this year alone. He is survived by his wife Olive and son Oliver Christian Wray. Please visit Wray’s official website for more information.