The Song That Inspired Iggy Pop To Rock
via BBC Music / Youtube
For some, Rock and Roll could be the most dangerous and manipulative thing in this world. There are lots of cases in which rock became someone else’s enemy; yet, for Iggy Pop, it became his partner that opened his eyes wide to a new, alternate self.
Iggy Pop’s early work was influenced by artists like The Shangri-Las, and to this day, they continue to be an inspiration for him. However, there is a significant difference between playing some cover songs in a band and becoming so drunk that you wind up throwing beer bottles at yourself at most of your shows. And by 1974, any innocence from Iggy’s body left as if there’s no chance for a comeback.
But what started this pure, crazy, other self? Pop once answered it in an interview. “There was a guy named Link Wray,” he said. “I heard this music in the student union at a university. It was called ‘Rumble’ and it sounded baaad.”
When Pop’s eyes were opened, he saw what he wanted to do in the future and it was clear that the school where he sat with a pen and a paper was not in it. Suppose it’s a good thing there was a campus DJ, he said. “I left school emotionally at the moment I heard [Link Wray’s] ‘Rumble.’”
“Rumble” is an instrumental track by Link Wray & His Ray Men. As a single (with “The Swag” as a B-side) released in the US on March 31, 1958, “Rumble” was the first official song to use distortion and tremolo in rock and roll.
Apart from Iggy Pop, numerous icons in the rock industry have cited “Rumble” as the song that made them pursue a music career, such as Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and The Who’s Pete Townshend.