Link Wray is one of the greatest artists to have eluded even the most interested of music fans. His music has consistently slipped under the radar of awards and recognition, but he’s someone that probably demands considerably more praise. His guitar skills are definitely remarked upon from time to time when referencing the heavy sound that later inspired heavy metal bands and punk, but this is a career music much better when you take in the sum of all parts. Wray definitely had a unforgettable style.
Beyond his early days in the 50s of rockabilly instrumental hits like “Rumble” and “Rawhide” (as heard in the video above), further albums of his career are incredible hidden gems. His 1971 self-titled album is one of those gems, which to this day still seems to be over-looked and under-appreciated.
Can you start a renaissance for an artist that seems to be blowing away? Hopefully. Wray is certainly an artists that needs to be re-evaluated. Maybe someone will take the time.
It’s that time of year again where the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announce the nominees for next years inductees. Right yes. This is an event that somehow matters. Yesterday, The Guardian proposed that the whole thing is one popularity contest, and the writer was probably completely right.
There are several guidelines to being inducted. One of those main criteria is “the influence and significance of the artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll.” They artists must have also released an album from at least 25-years-ago. So unfortunately that means fucking “Bleach” came out in 1989. Nirvana is a shoo-in (even though Pearl Jam did it better – much better).
But that’s wrong.
Link Wray &The Wraymen was released in 1960. Somehow Link Wray has been completely ignored and is only a first-time nominee this year. “Rumble” alone should get him inducted. Both Iggy Pop and Jimmy Page claim him to be an early inspiration. Both the Stooges and Led Zeppelin have been inducted so why has it taken so long for Link Wray?
Some nominees have been up for ages. I have no idea how many times KISS have been nominated, but why the fuck have they not been inducted? That’s the very prime example. In retrospect, bands like KISS and Chic (who have also been nominated before) should have been inducted already. They are not trendy, yeah, or cool. But that shouldn’t matter. People still shake their asses to “Le Freak” and people have been buried in KISS Kaskets!
Rock music isn’t about being cool. Well, maybe it is if you’re Motley Crue in 1983 LA, but more importantly rock music is about feeling something and relating to musicians you will never be. Star kids and grunge rockers.
So fuck the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. We know who really matters to us: they’re in our record collections and on our t-shirts. The rest doesn’t matter and the music doesn’t need anything else.
Read The Guardian’s article here.