9. The Power Chord Was Invented Because A Soldier Lost His Lung In The Korean War
All of rock and roll is built around power chords. It can be heard in songs by AC/DC, Nirvana, The Who, Led Zeppelin, The Kinks, and Neil Young. Power chords are so essential to rock songs that they’re usually the first thing young guitarists learn.
All of this can be traced to Link Wray and his 1958 song “Rumble.” Though it is now considered one of the greatest songs of all time, Wray originally didn’t want to play it.
Ever since he was a kid, Wray wanted to have a career as a singer. But before he could set off for show business, he had to serve in the Korean War. That decision cost him his dreams. The jungles of Korea were a breeding ground for diseases.
Like a lot of his fellow soldiers, he suffered from a dreadful bout of tuberculosis. It was such a bad case that he had to have one of his lungs removed.
No longer able to sing, he was forced to innovate as an instrumentalist. His hopes may have been dashed, but inspiring multiple generations by creating the bedrock of rock and roll and being labeled as the father of punk and metal is a good legacy, too.