Nearly 60 years ago, first-generation rocker Link Wray released "Rumble," a pulsating, slow-burning guitar instrumental that forever changed the sound of rock and roll. Iggy Pop did a fine job of summing up the song's menacing magic when he said, “'Rumble' had the power to help me say ‘fuck it, I’m going to be a musician'.”
Today, we've gotten together with Dan Auerbach’s label, Easy Eye Sound, to premiere “Son of Rumble,” Wray's never-released followup to the song that introduced the world to nasty power chords. “Son of Rumble” comes to you straight from the Link Wray archives, and you can hear it above. The song, along with “Whole Lotta Talking,” will be released April 13, 2018, as a 7-inch vinyl record. It's available for pre-order here.
“Rumble” (hear it below) was a rock-and-roll milestone for countless subsequent rock legends, including Jimmy Page, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Pete Townshend, Tom Petty, Slash, Steven Van Zandt, Jeff Beck and Elvis Costello, not to mention Los Straitjackets' Eddie Angel and thousands of surf-instrumental bands. The song was actually banned in New York, Boston and Detroit for fear it would incite juvenile violence, making Wray the only artist in history to release a banned instrumental.
“I saw him play in Cleveland at The Grog Shop and he blew my mind," Auerbach told Guitar World this week. "To get the chance to put out unreleased songs on Easy Eye is amazing and a dream I never thought was possible. It’s time we give Link Wray a statue on the top of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”
Thirty-three years after becoming eligible for inclusion, Wray is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominee for the Class of 2018. Fans can vote for his inclusion with a daily ballot through December 5 right here.
In other Link Wray news, the guitarist's story will be featured in Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World, a documentary about the profound impact indigenous people have had on American music. The film includes interviews with Auerbach, Iggy Pop, George Clinton, Tony Bennett, Steven Tyler and many more. You can watch the trailer below—followed by a fun clip of Jimmy Page listening to "Rumble" and a live performance of the song (by Wray and his band) from 1974. Enjoy!