IT DOESN’T GET BETTER THAN THIS…
JIMMY PAGE INDUCTS HIS HERO LINK WRAY
INTO THE ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME
11/3/2023, Brooklyn, New York – One of the world’s greatest guitarists, Jimmy Page, gave a surprise presentation and tribute performance at the 38th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony for his “hero” the legendary guitarist Link Wray (Shawnee). Held at Barclays Center in New York on Friday night, Page’s onscreen prerecorded presentaton was followed by a surprise live tribute performance and rendition of Wray’s classic instrumental, “Rumble.” This was reportedly Page’s first public performance in a decade.
The now 69 year old lead guitarist of Led Zeppelin recalled hearing Wray’s classic instrumental “Rumble” for the first time when he was 14 year’s old. Page recalled, “The vigor in it. The strength in it. The power in it. This was something else. It was fearless. It was just phenomenal. It was the essence of cool. Its just a masterpiece that sort of melted its way into the fibers of my body and my consciousness.”
Link Wray’s eldest children were in attendance, Beth Wray Webb and Link Wray III who met Page after the performance and exchanged their mutual respect and admiration for each other. Beth’s two sons, Chris and Tommy are also musicians and coincidentally were also influenced by Page’s work in Zeppelin.
Fred Lincoln “Link” Wray, Jr., was born on May 2, 1929, in Dunn, North Carolina. Link Wray was of Shawnee heritage. While his family suffered racial discrimination due to their Native American background, Wray later honored his heritage in songs like “Comanche”, “Apache” and “Shawnee.” Wray continued recording and performing well into his seventies until his death on November 5, 2005.
pictured above are l-r Beth Wray Webb, Jimmy Page, Link Wray III
In 2008, Link Wray was inducted into the Native American Music Hall of Fame presented by musician Steven Van Zandt with a tribute performance held by Wray’s grandson Chris Webb and Native American guitarist Gary SmalI. In 2017, the documentary, “Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World,” was released and Link Wray received his second nomination for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Page said that Link Wray had a “real rebel attitude” and credits him in the documentary, “It Might Get Loud” as a major influence in his early career. In 2021, Rolling Stone named Link Wray as one of their top 100 Greatest Guitarists. Link Wray’s music continues to be heard on radio and in numerous films and TV shows, such as; “Pulp Fiction,” “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” “Blow,” “Desperado,” “Independence Day”, “The Fabelmans” “Poker Face,” “Father Stu” and “Reservation Dogs”.
Link Wray’s daughter, Beth, expressed; “We were in tears watching Jimmy Page’s tribute performance. Dad would be so honored and humbled to receive this special recognition.” See the full presentation below.
(l-r Link III, Link Wray and Beth Wray Webb)
JIMMY PAGE’S FULL INDUCTION SPEECH ON LINK WRAY
The Vigor in it. The Strength in it. The Power in it. .. It’s just a masterpiece that sort of melted its way into the fibers of my body and my consciousness
“I’m really proud and honored to induct Link Wray into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. If ever there was a guitarist to deserve this. If ever there was a guitarist who changed people’s attitude to what they heard, its Link Wray.
I first heard Link Wray’s music by the Rumble and it was when I was 14 years old. It wasn’t necessarily the sort of music that was being played on the BBC radio. But I heard it through a jukebox. The first time I heard it I remember listening to it with such awe because I thought what is this?
In those days there were many guitar instrumentals but as a 14 year old kid barely playing the guitar, it really had an effect on me. The Vigor in it. The Strength in it. The Power in it. There was something else, It was fearless. It was just phenomenal. It’s the essence of cool. It’s just a masterpiece that just sort of melted its way into the fibers of my body and my consciousness, as far as the drama that you can set up with six strings. Its the sort of stuff that can’t be taught. It’s the sort of stuff that you feel and you can take it on board if you like it.
I’m really thrilled and honored to be the one to be able to induct Link Wray, my hero, into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.” – JIMMY PAGE, November 3rd, 2023
For Interviews with Link Wray’s eldest daughter, Beth Wray Webb, please email us at [email protected].