Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I'm Branded Sad Today: RIP Link

Via the the Brain, and it's a serious bummer. One of my all-time musical heroes, uber-primitivist and rocker extraordinaire Link Wray has passed away. To say that Link showed the way for people with more attitude (and reckless abandon) than dexterity to play rippin' guitar would be to damn him with feint praise. However, it's not hyperbole to say that every track on the "Mr. Guitar"compilation is effin' essential. He combines feedback, fuzz, bare-bones rhythmic accompanyment to evoke both raucous danger and sentimental lyricism out of guitars that were probably found in someone's trash. He used the most bare-bones compositional technique but managed to wring an infinite amount of variation out of it - true rock-n-roll genius. His greaser-punk image is also one of the purest rock archetypes. Consider John Waters' "Crybaby". Duane Eddy is clearly one of those rich kids singin' "Sh-Boom", while Link's one of the greasy punks out on Turkey Point. C'mon, you know where you'd rather be. Rumble In Peace, Link.
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