Sunday, November 20, 2005

Link Wray 1929-2005

Breaking news folks.

You know I don’t work sundays but it’s a sad day.

Sad sad sad day.

I’ve said in March that if a direct line from a black blues musician crankin' up his amp and playing with a ton of violence and aggression can be traced to a young, white guy doing a mutated form of same, the line points straight to Link Wray, no contest.
Damn I was right.
Mr Wray passed away at the age of 76 in Copehagen where he lived since 1983.
'Though rock historians always like to draw a nice, clean line between the distorted electric guitar work that fuels early blues records to the late-'60s Hendrix-Clapton-Beck-Page-Townshend mob, with no stops in between, a quick spin of any of the sides Link recorded during his golden decade punches holes in that theory right quick.'
Well, I’ve learned guitar all by myself – with a little help from Mr Wray's records. I WANTED THAT SOUND AND THAT FEELING (Yeah something you will never understand you all Steve Vai fans)
Armed with a 1953 Gibson Les Paul, a dinky Premier amp, an Elvis sneer and a black leather jacket, Link Wray was my hero. Simple .


If I could go back in time and see one concert it would be Link Wray and His Raymen
-Neil Young

Link Wray And The Raymen - Rumble
Link Wray And The Raymen - The Black Widow
Link Wray And The Raymen - The Law Of The Jungle
Link Wray And The Raymen - The Shadow Knows
Link Wray With Robert Gordon - The Way I Walk

Mystery Action - Raw-Hide
The Milshakes - Run Chicken Run
Hellbenders - The Outlaw

The legendary Dj Wild Pascal & Mr Wray


Blogger mrdantefontana said...

Man, I got totally moved by your words.
Thanks for posting it and thanks for sharing some tracks.
Sad, it is. And sad that he's not more recocnized for what he's done to Rock and Roll.

4:35 PM  
Anonymous bbb said...

et merde

4:54 PM  
Blogger guapo said...

Sleep well Link.

6:29 PM  
Anonymous drbopperthp said...

Link Wray a stop in between...? Uh, sorry - no. Just an evolutionary stop off, a sort of musical cul-de-sac or dead ending branch off the mainstream development of the guitar as Rock & Roll's sine qua non. A small but still seminal part of the history of Rock music, no doubt. But not much more than that. R.I.P.

8:19 PM  
Blogger Brownie said...

Condolences Reverend and RIP Mr Wray.
Will The Cicle Be Unbroken . . .

12:04 AM  
Anonymous Kenny Lust said...

Link Wray is for me the essence of what rock & roll is about.
In the last twenty years I've seen him play a couple of times.
Every time I was blown away by his performance.
Same as the Reverend did I learn to play guitar by myself, but Link Wray definitely showed me the way to do it.
76 years. I believe he had a long, good and creative life.
I wont miss him because he will always
be there through his music.

Thanks, Link.

12:57 AM  
Blogger countrygrrl said...

SLEEP TIGHT link and blast those angels...

1:32 AM  
Blogger Two Headed Trick said...

If Rufus Thomas was the world's oldest teenager, the Link was the world's oldest Bad Boy. He may not of been the best know rocker, but he was what every rocker wanted to be...coool!

1:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only had the chance to see Wray once a couple years ago - an outstanding performance by an old codger. When you look at his creative output you got to give the motherfucker his due: he had the essence of rock 'n' roll in his fingertips and his back pocket too, not many do.

hail hail rock 'n' roll

- Mr. Beer N. Hockey

1:42 AM  
Anonymous Vaughn said...

Link made the electric guitar feel raunchy and sexy. Is that thunder I hear...a Rumble in the distance getting louder, or just the sky crying tonight?

5:13 AM  
Blogger bigrockcandymountain said...

well said as ever, good reverend

12:35 PM  
Blogger bendy said...

Cul-de-sac! To the contrary, I'd say Link was the first guitarist for whom texture and tone overwhelmed the actual notes he was playing. He's the start of "rock" as it starts to distinguish itself from rock 'n' roll. He may not have sold a ton of records, but every rootsy punk band from the Cramps on out to Guitar Wolf gets their basic twang from him.

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree drboopper. Link and other instrumentalists brought the guitar out to the forefront where it remains today. You have to remember Link first started playing country music as houseband in Dc where he backed country artists then shifted to rock and roll. He was one of the links between Hank Williams, Elvis and rock like Hendrix, the Who as we know it. Who else? Blues stars like Howling Wolf and muddy Waters, Chuck Berry , country stars like Carl Perkins, Conway Twitty, Johnny Cash had the same sort of presence and influence. Link stayed with his sound and outlasted most. Long live Link

7:22 PM  
Blogger BabyBorderline said...

So sad, Reverend....

but i bring you good news!

Ponderosa Stomp this year! :)

9:53 PM  
Anonymous Jim Stark said...


I did an off-the-fly tribute set on my radio show this past'll be available fer download soon...'course been blarin' Link just about every episode since the beginning...the best of the best, Mr. Guitar will wail on outta my hi-fi

3:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

drbopper or whatever your name is(because no one really cares!!) , kiss my ass you piece of shit, Link Wray was a multi-faceted, under appreciated rock & roll hero. Period! If you don't get it, then shut up & sit down, because you're ruining the show for the rest of us!

6:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I grabbed a couple Mono Men and The Mortal's CD's about 15 years ago at a local Record Shop the cashier mentioned that "You must like Link Wray"..

I'd never heard of Link Wray, so I was intrigued. They were sold out (what a surprise!) of Link CD's, so I ordered one..

Link was everything a Bass player like me wanted to be in a guitarist! RAW!

I was happy, tonight, to turn the guitarist I'm working with now onto Link, with the CD I ordered years ago.

Rock music is about energy, and Link Wray is the power source!


6:41 AM  
Anonymous connor said...

I have 1 link ray record and i always tell everyone it's the best rerord i have, R.I.P mr Ray

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my hero, my idol, my inspiration...

is gone...

Link, don't rest in peace, rest LOUD just like the way you lived!!!!

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"a young, white guy doing a mutated form of same" Was he? I thought he was Shawnee.

Whatever, he was the biznis.


3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Link Ray is truly a native son, with Native American Roots along with the true Roots of Rock-N-Roll
in his blood. We will celebrate your life and work my brother. Join that big Jam in the Sky. When the Thunder sounds we will know it is you.

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Buy Leather Biker Jacket said...

hie i really like your post,its soo good.

9:17 PM  

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