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I dunno who should answer this from the Gibson web folks, but... After checking a story on the 10 most influential Rock guitar instrumentals I put in a note for Link Wray's "Rumble" that many believe is just about the true paradigm of rock guitar ever since then.


I tried twice. Neither came up. I used no nasty language in any way.




By the way, any youngsters who never heard "Rumble" should look up a copy and play it too loud <grin> and see what I mean. It ain't great guitar technique, nor is the whole thing all that creative in ways but... it's what real "Rock" is really about in guitar terms.


In fact, consider that it's so "simple" that just about every kid with a guitar and a radio was playing it and wanted that "sound."


Listen and then remember there were no stomp boxes or special overdrive gain settings on amps. Just guitar, amp and intentionally fuzzed up speakers.


... and to prove true rock heritage, even as an instrumental it was banned from many radio stations!


It's not just me saying it. But whoever wrote this Wikipedia piece nailed it:


"Wray was noted for pioneering a new sound for electric guitars, as exemplified in his hit 1958 instrumental 'Rumble,' by Link Wray and his Ray Men, which pioneered an overdriven, distorted electric guitar sound, and also for having, 'invented the power chord, the major modus operandi of modern rock guitarist, and in doing so fathering,' or making possible, 'punk and heavy rock.'"

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Also, you can't talk about old instrumental rock and roll without mentioning **** Dale (one of my heroes). He's in his late 70's and currently recovering from his second bout with colon cancer (first time was in the 60's - Hendrix saying "It's the end of surf guitar" in "Third Stone From The Sun" was a nod to **** Dale when he had cancer then) but the guy is tough as nails and plans to go out on the road again.


Here he is at the 2008 NAMM show shortly during the period he was receiving treatment:


I caught him at a gig in a retro-styled bowling alley in Asbury Park a few years ago and he KICKED ***. By far, the loudest show I have ever been to and I've seen The Ramones, Black Flag, Slayer, Metallica - you name it - and **** Dale was a sonic orgy like none other I have heard before or since. If he comes to your neck of the woods, I *highly* recommend that you go.

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Listen and then remember there were no stomp boxes or special overdrive gain settings on amps. Just guitar' date=' amp and intentionally fuzzed up speakers.[/quote']

I own NO effects pedals.

Not one.


Lotsa guitars and half a dozen amps give me anything I want.


Oh, and Rumble beats the hell out of Green Onions any day of the week with its Hipster carnival organ baloney.

Has a few cool licks, but the cheesy organ has to go.

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What do you think about the fact that the Ventures are not in the rock-n-roll hall of fame. I interviewed Don Wilson a couple of years ago when they did a gig at the Arroyo Grande Performing Arts Center and he seemed pretty bitter about it. They're the No. 1 selling instrumental band of all time and not in the HoF.

The show was terrific and the band actually had a personality. Afterwards they did a meet and greet and signed autographs in the venue's foyer.

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Hmmmm. Didn't know the Ventures weren't there.


But here's how I see stuff like that: They're not the style or people currently "hot."


E.g., Clapton is a great picker (and even a cupla months older that I am!), but note how he's doing what we folkie types were doing in the 60s stedda rock. But I think it wouldn't have sold 35 years ago were he an "unknown." Or today for that matter.


Old rockers never die, they just start doing 30s through 50s pop stuff. Heck, even Garth Brooks ended up doing 50s "Fleetwoods" stuff. So...


I think the very things that made the early Ventures and Wray popular in the 50s is why they're not so popular now: A decent picker could fairly easily pick up and copy those guys - heck, a lot of early rock - because although it was groundbreaking stylistically, it wasn't all that technically difficult nor did it require much beyond guitar and amp. So all the kids copied it.


The Ventures were inducted in the R&R HF in 2008, though, weren't they?


Nowadays I think there's a lot more technical skill - if not originality - but it's harder to pick up on to "copy."


So... the "gee they're great" tends to follow the current trend toward technical skill vs. leaps of innovation. And the "sound" that was found in the physical guitar and analog amp is so augmented that... we find ourselves buying lots of extra gear to get "that sound we heard" instead of something more "natural." Heck, even I have a multi-effect box.


BTW, I had an interesting one-song solo guitar gig at a local arts fundraiser concert that speaks to this too.


Stedda playing some fairly complex fingerstyle jazz arrangements, I did a fast but simple fingerpicking ragtime thing I wrote a century or so ago <grin> that I could almost do with four or five broken fingers while hanging upside down.


Crowd obviously liked it better than the far more technically difficult and harmonically complex jazzed/swing stuff I did the previous four years for the same basic type of crowd. I think that speaks to a general listening public and how "fame" choices are made as well.

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