Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page Pays Tribute to Link Wray at Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony
During the recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page paid tribute to another iconic artist in a very special way. Guitarist Link Wray was inducted posthumously into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Page performed Wray’s 1958 hit song “Rumble” during the ceremony using his red Gibson EDS-1275 guitar.
The song is important in rock music history as it is often said to be the first song to use distortion and tremolo. Distortion creates a gritty sound using electric guitars while tremolo is a trembling sound. Not only that, but the song was a bit controversial in its day. “Rumble” was banned on many radio stations because people thought it would promote “rumbles” or street fighting. Despite the ban, it became a hit and so important in music history that the song itself was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.
Wray and his band, Link Wray & His Wray Men debuted the song at a sock hop in Virginia and reportedly the audience asked for it to be played multiple times that evening. Eventually, it was brought to the attention of Archie Bleyer of Cadence Records. Despite hating the song himself, he saw that the youth, including his stepdaughter, loved the song and released the single through his record company.
Page certainly paid homage to the track and Wray, whom the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame once called “the original punk, the inventor of the power chord, and the architect of a sound that laid the foundation for metal, punk, and every genre that relies on raw, untamed noise to convey its message.”
Check out the performance and let us know what you think about it! You can watch the full 2023 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony now on Hulu and Disney+. Find out more about all of the inductees here first.