Link Wray Home Movies

Nov 3, 2023

Ready to have your mind blown? In honor of Link Wray FINALLY getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tonight (thank you—long overdue), here’s a treat for all of you. Better enjoy it while you can!

These are Link Wray home movies from around 1960–64. Link was on a major label in the 1970s who took these home movies from the family and never returned them. The major label made a promotional video for Link’s new album with these clips in it. The clips are in poor quality because nobody has seen the original Super 8 films since the 1970s. To make it worse, whenever somebody in the past has tried to post the entire thirty-minute promotional film, it gets yanked off of YouTube.

I figured today is a good day for goodwill and happy hearts to prevail, so I present to you some never-seen (well, not for fifty years) footage of Link Wray and the Wraymen performing live, touring on the road, and cutting up, 1960–64. Note: No rights are given or implied by sharing this video—this is strictly for fans to see home movie footage of Link Wray and the Wraymen in their prime.

Also, take note: there is some footage from either 1960 or 1961 showing Link Wray playing his original Les Paul Goldtop guitar (the one he recorded “Rumble” with), and next to him Bobby “The Kid” Howard is playing Link’s original Danelectro “Guitarlin” Longhorn guitar. Those of you who have followed the story of how I wound up with the guitar will remember that the guy I got the guitar from (Fred White) said he traded a stack of record albums for the Danelectro from Bobby Howard in 1962. So, this 8mm film is the Zapruder film of Link Wray guitarcheology. These few shaky seconds of footage prove that Bobby Howard had the guitar after Link quit using it himself. It’s curious that Link is playing his old Les Paul here—but there’s also a clue why he was not photographed with the Les Paul after 1957—the finish has been badly damaged (sanded off?) on the front, either from an accident or a customization job gone wrong. Fascinating stuff. Where is that Goldtop now?

And hell yeah, Link Wray is FINALLY getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!! Between this and the Larry Collins video posted today from the Ozark Jubilee show, this is a good day for vintage rock and roll guitar video clips!!

Check out the video while it lasts: