Guitarist Link Wray died on November 5 at the age of 76. He's credited with inventing the power chord in the 1950s. His first big recording hit was the 1958 instrumental Rumble. When he went to record the song, he wasn't happy with the sound on the amp, so he pierced holes in the speaker cone to create additional distortion. Guitarists including Pete Townshend and John Lennon were influenced by his work. Wray's other hits include Rawhide and the Batman theme.
Before he played guitar for Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page was a session musician in London studios. Rock historian Ed Ward looks back at Page's early career. Led Zeppelin will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Grammy next month.
Apart from being the guitarist for Bruce Springsteen and playing mob guy Silvio on The Sopranos, Steven Van Zandt is also a radio DJ. We talk with Van Zandt about creating the music for the new movie Christmas with the Kranks.
Hetfield is one of the founding members of the metal band Metallica. The new documentary Metallica: Some Kind of Monster catches the band at a time of crisis, when their bass player quits and the group hires a "therapist and performance-enhancement coach" to help them sort things out. Also during the filming, Hetfield storms out and enters rehab.
Musician Lenny Kaye is perhaps best known as Patti Smith's guitarist. But he's also a music writer, whose work has appeared in Rolling Stone, The Village Voice and Creem. His new book, You Call it Madness: The Sensuous Song of the Croon, chronicles the male singers of the 1930s known for their suave, sophisticated and romantic interpretations of song: Bing Crosby, Rudy Vallee and Russ Columbo.
A classic 2002 interview with the guitarist for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. On August 14 he's hosting Little Steven's International Underground Garage Festival on Randall's Island in New York City, part of his personal mission to revive interest in garage band rock. Van Zandt also has a syndicated radio show — Hard Rock Cafe Presents Little Stevens Underground Garage.
Watson was one of America's premier acoustic folk guitarists. We'll hear two of Watson's appearances on the show: an interview from 1988 and a live convert from 1989. Watson's flat-pick style of playing traditional folk and bluegrass has made his sound one of the most distinctive of any folk artist. In the folk music community, Watson is best known for his part in preserving the traditional ballads and melodies of southern Appalachia. His latest CD, Sittin Here Pickin the Blues, features him and slide guitarist Merle Watson.
He died of cancer Saturday, Sept. 27. He was best known for his groundbreaking 1950s work in the Rock 'n' Roll Trio and recorded many rockabilly classics including: Tear It Up, Honey Hush, Lonesome Train (On a Lonesome Track) and The Train Kept A-Rollin'.