Monday, November 21, 2005

Link Ray, RIP

A Rock'n'Roll guitar god is dead at the age of 76. Most people probably don't know the name Link Ray, but they might recognize his signature song, "Rumble." Ray has been called the father of the power chord. He showed rock that you don't need Chuck Berry's chunky lead or Dick Dale's surfer guitar pyrotechnics. Just playing chords on an electric guitar can get it done.

"Rumble" has a haunting power. Its greatness lies in its simplicity. That slow, even chord progression, D-D-E, D-D-E, is unforgettable. It's the kind of riff that teenage garage bands could jam on for hours.

Ray is the man who inspired a teenage Pete Townshend to pick up a guitar, and you can hear his influence in the Who and the Kinks.

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