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RIP Link Wray

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  • Carl Z.
    Legendary Guitarist Link Wray Dead at 76 Matthew Solarski reports: The man responsible for popularizing the
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 21, 2005
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      <http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/news/05-11/21.shtml>

      Legendary Guitarist Link Wray Dead at 76

      Matthew Solarski reports:
      The man responsible for popularizing the now-ubiquitous power chord,
      legendary guitarist Link Wray, passed away at his home in Copenhagen,
      Denmark on November 5. He was 76 years old.

      Wray is perhaps best known for his convention-shattering rock
      instrumental "Rumble", which landed in the U.S. Top 20 in 1958 despite
      being banned in several radio markets for its violent evocations. A
      banned instrumental? How's that for punk rock?

      An icon to icons, Wray's legacy stretches far and wide, with everyone
      from Bob Dylan, David Bowie, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Neil
      Young, and Jerry Garcia to John Kerry's high school band citing the
      guitarist as an influence. The Who's Pete Townsend went so far as to
      claim he would "have never picked up a guitar" if it weren't for Wray.

      The loss is no doubt deeply felt; Dylan opened a recent London show
      with his rendition of "Rumble", and other high-profile tributes will
      surely follow. Fact is, your fledgling garage band is probably steeped
      in the man's influence.

      Three-quarters Shawnee Indian, the prolific Wray pioneered a raucous
      guitar-playing style that would echo down the decades, through rock,
      punk, and heavy metal. Revered for his formidable live show, Wray had
      continued to tour extensively over the years. He wrapped up a lengthy
      U.S. tour this July. Wray's official website attributes his cause of
      death to heart failure.

      Despite being named by Rolling Stone as one of the 100 greatest
      guitarists of all time, Link Wray has not yet been inducted into the
      Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

      Wray leaves behind his Danish-born wife Olive, who was his manager and
      frequently drummed at his live gigs, as well as their son Oliver. He
      will be missed.

      * Link Wray: www.linkwraylegend.com
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