"It had a profound effect on me": Jimmy Page reflects on Link Wray's Rumble and his surprise performance at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

Jimmy Page performs at the 38th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center on November 03, 2023 in New York City
(Image credit: Theo Wargo)

Former Led Zeppelin man Jimmy Page, who surprised the audience at this year's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony by performing in public for the first time in 12 years, has reflected on his appearance, and on the song he played, Link Wray's classic instrumental Rumble

Page inducted Wray into the Hall just prior to the performance, which took place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, narrating his induction speech via a video clip before taking to the stage in person.

Writing on social media, Page says, "I was asked to induct Link Wray into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, a guitarist, instrumentalist and songwriter that I’d admired from the very first taste of the Rumble.

"I first heard it when I was 14, roaring from a jukebox in my hometown of Epsom. As a guitar instrumental the attitude of it was totally unique in its mystery, imagination and execution – it had a profound effect on me.

"Link Wray and Rumble stand alone at the pinnacle in the world of instrumentals and I was thrilled to stand on stage in New York with drummer Anton Fig and bassist Tim Givens at the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame last night to induct one of my heroes."

In an interview with Led Zeppelin News, Givens reveals that they rehearsed the song with Page in New York a few days before the ceremony. 

"We met with Jimmy a few days ago and ran through it a few times,” says Givens. “Jimmy really brought it at the performance and it was obvious in talking to him what this meant to him."

“Jimmy wanted us to stick closely to the original,” adds Fig. “The bass drum part did not have a uniform pattern so I had to learn that, as Jimmy felt that all the nuances had to be respected in our performance.”

Page also extolled the virtues of Rumble in the 2008 documentary It Might Get Loud, when he appeared alongside The Edge from U2 and White Stripes founder Jack White in a film that explored the three guitarists' paths to stardom and their approach to playing. 

Page's last appearance onstage was in 2011, when he made a guest appearance with Roy Harper at London’s Royal Festival Hall. Wray was inducted into the Native American Music Hall of Fame by Stevie Van Zandt in 2007.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 37 years in music industry, online for 24. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.