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Review: Jimmy Page honors Link Wray, performs ‘Rumble’ at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony

On November 3rd, Jimmy Page, the guitarist and founder of Led Zeppelin, honored Link Wray at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Link Wray
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Link Wray. Photo Courtesy of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Link Wray. Photo Courtesy of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

On November 3rd, Jimmy Page, the guitarist and founder of Led Zeppelin, honored Link Wray at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which took place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Link Wray: 2023 ‘Musical Influence’ inductee

The legendary Link Wray was posthumously inducted in the “Musical Influence” category of the 2023 Class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with DJ Kool Herc, who is known as the “Father of Hip Hop.”

By definition, the “Musical Influence Award” is bestowed to artists whose music and performance style have directly influenced, inspired, and evolved rock and roll, and music impacting youth culture. Link Wray and his music were the epitome of a true early musical influence.

Wray’s song “Rumble” was previously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in 2018 in its “Singles” category, which was an inaugural new category that year.

“Rumble” holds the distinction as the sole instrumental song banned from the radio at the time for fear that it would incite juvenile violence.

While the song was released on released on March 31, 1958, and was subsequently banned at the time… it was celebrated in New York City in March of 2018 for its 60th anniversary at Generation Records.

In February of 2019, “Rumble” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Jimmy Page’s first live performance since 2014

This marks Page’s first live performance in nearly a decade, and he performed Link Wray’s signature classic along with drummer Anton Fig and Tim Givens.

In the documentary “It Might Get Loud,” Page expressed the profound effect that “Rumble” had on him and his music.

In addition to Page, Link Wray’s influenced such artists, especially the British and American guitarists that followed him such as Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and Bruce Springsteen.

Pete Townshend of The Who once stated, “If it hadn’t been for Link Wray and ‘Rumble,’ I would never have picked up a guitar.” 

Link Wray’s daughter speaks about Jimmy Page’s musical tribute

Beth Wray Webb, the oldest daughter of Link Wray, who was present at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony was moved by Jimmy Page’s tribute to her late father. “Jimmy Page is so awesome, he even asked me if he did dad proud. I told him ‘you nailed it and daddy would be so honored.’ It was an honor to have met him,” Beth Wray Webb said.

“Thank you to Jimmy Page for coming back to the United States just for our father to play ‘Rumble’ and sharing your story with us on how you first heard ‘Rumble.’ You did an awesome job in honor of our dad,” she added, effusively.

The Verdict

Overall, it is great that Link Wray was finally inducted into the coveted Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and gets his due after the tremendous impact he and his music have had in the history of the rock and roll landscape.

The 2023 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is available to stream on Disney+ and ABC, will air a special on Monday, January 1.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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