“The kids just went ape”: The menacing riff that inspired Jimmy Page, Pete Townshend and Jeff Beck – and had a guitar tone so aggressive it was banned from the radio

Link Wray performs at The Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, California in 1978
(Image credit: Richard McCaffrey/Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images)

There's a long history – even in the United States – of certain songs, deemed by those in power to be too inflammatory to be unleashed on the innocent ears of the public, getting banned from the radio.

The list of these banned songs is lengthy, and contains one very notable odd man out – Link Wray's Rumble.

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.