Banned Music: Link Wray’s ‘Rumble’
Released in 1958, Link Wray’s seminal, ultra-influential ‘Rumble’ proved to be a smash hit. It utilised new techniques, distortion and feedback, creating a weird jumble of clean noise and fuzzy tension.
The song was an instant hit when it was played live, with audiences demanding it to be play at every consequent gig.
The song is notable for being one of the few (if you can think of any others, let me know) instrumental songs to be banned from the radio. The term ‘rumble’ is slang for a gang fight and that, mixed with the harsh and violent sound of the guitars, glorified and was feared to incite juvenile delinquency.
The audio isn’t the best in this video but what it lacks in quality it more than makes up for in badassery.