Monday, November 21, 2005

R.I.P. Link Wray

Link Wray, 76
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Posted at 8:10 PM EST
Associated Press

Copenhagen, Denmark — Guitar player Link Wray, who invented the power chord, the major modus operandi of modern rock guitarists, has died. He was 76.

A native of Dunn, North Carolina, Wray's style is considered the blueprint for heavy metal and punk music.

Wray's is best known for his 1958 instrumental Rumble, 1959's Rawhide and 1963's Jack the Ripper. His music has appeared in movies like Pulp Fiction, Independence Day and Desperado.

His style is said to have inspired many other rock musicians, including Pete Townsend of the Who. David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Steve Van Zandt and Bruce Springsteen have also been quoted as saying that Wray and Rumble inspired them to become musicians.

“He is the king; if it hadn't been for Link Wray and Rumble, I would have never picked up a guitar',” Townsend wrote on one of Wray's albums.

Neil Young once said: “If I could go back in time and see any band, it would be Link Wray and the Raymen.”

According to Wray's official website, he invented the fuzz tone by deliberately punching holes in his amplifier speakers.

In 2002, Guitar World magazine elected Wray one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.

Wray, known for his trademark black leather jacket, toured the United States and Canada from 1997 to 2002. He was half Shawnee Indian.

The date of Wray's death was not known. He lived in Copenhagen.

Denmark's Politiken newspaper said his funeral had already taken place in Copenhagen's Christian Church. No dates were given.

His family could not be reached for comment. His official site does not mention his death.

Wray is survived by his wife and son.