Link Wray, the father of the power chord, has died. The man who launched a million punk and metal bands through a staggeringly simple concept: top string at set fret, second to top string two frets down. Slide finger formation up and down with sharp strikes of plectrum, feed through loud Marshall amp. Repeat until you stumble upon wonderful noisy song.
Had not Wray come up with this magical concept, I would never have enjoyed so many hours in garages and basements with other like-minded goofballs as a teenager. (Some of the songs I penned during that period include “The Last of My Kind” and “The Cat Must Die.”) Thank you, Mr. Wray, for democratizing rock and roll for those of us whose grasp of pentatonic scales were shaky at best.