On Friday night, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame hosted its 2023 induction ceremony at Brooklyn, NY’s Barclays Center. The star-studded affair, which fans at home were able to stream live for the first time ever, honored 2023 performer inductees Willie Nelson, Kate Bush, Missy Elliott, Rage Against The Machine, Sheryl Crow, George Michael, and The Spinners with more than four hours worth of speeches and special performances.
Among the surprise appearances included in the festivities was a performance by Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, who inducted Link Wray, the guitarist best known as the originator of the power chord, into the Hall as a Musical Influence Award recipient. After a pre-recorded interview compilation featuring fawning words about Wray’s music by Iggy Pop, Slash, Robbie Robertson, Taylor Hawkins, and Steve Van Zandt—who called “Rumble” the “sexiest, toughest chord change in all of rock and roll”—Page offered his thoughts on the inductee.
“I’m really proud and honored to induct Link Wray into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,” Jimmy Page said in a pre-recorded statement aired ahead of his performance. If ever there was a guitarist who deserved this, if ever there was a guitarist who changed people’s attitude toward what they heard, it’s Link Wray. I first heard Link Wray’s music via ‘The Rumble’, and it was when I was 14 years old. It wasn’t necessarily the sort of music that was being played on the BBC Radio, but I heard it through a jukebox. The first time I heard it, i remember listening to it with such awe … In those days there were many guitar instrumentals but as a 14-year-old kid who could barely play the guitar, it really had an effect on me. The vigor in it, the strength in it, the power in it. It’s just fearless. Its phenomenal, it’s the essence of cool. It just sort of melted its way into the fibers of my body and my consciousness as far as the drama that you can set up with six strings. I’m really thrilled and honored to be able to be the one to induct Link Wray, my hero, into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame.
Following the recording, Jimmy Page appeared to play a live rendition of “Rumble” by Link Wray on a his recognizable double-neck Gibson with drummer Anton Fig and bassist Tim Givens. The surprise appearance marked the first live performance by Jimmy Page in nearly a decade. Watch a fan-shot video of the performance below.
Jimmy Page – “Rumble” (Link Wray) – Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony – 11/3/23
[Video: Mark Viens]
— Rock Hall (@rockhall) November 4, 2023
In addition to performer inductees Willie Nelson, Missy Elliott, Rage Against The Machine, Sheryl Crow, George Michael, and The Spinners, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony recognized Soul Train creator Don Cornelius, who received the Ahmet Ertegun Award; Link Wray’s fellow Musical Influence Award recipient, DJ Kool Herc, the New York DJ widely credited as the “father of hip-hop”; and Musical Excellence Award honorees Chaka Khan, Al Kooper, and Bernie Taupin. Live performers and presenters at the ceremony included Carrie Underwood, Elton John, H.E.R., New Edition, St. Vincent, Olivia Rodrigo, Stevie Nicks, and more.
You can watch the entire 2023 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony livestream on demand today via Hulu or Disney+.
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