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Song Stories

“Rumble”

Link Wray | 1958

Famously raw-sounding (after the guitarist punched holes in his amplifier cones) and banned by many radio stations despite the fact that the song had no lyrics, Link Wray’s “Rumble” took its name from Phil Everly’s suggestion that it sounded like a street fight. “It was mean,” Wray once said. “They banned ‘Rumble’ in New York City and Boston, but it just made it sell more.” Jimmy Page and Pete Townshend are just two of the many guitar players who have cited the menacing instrumental as a critical inspiration.

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Song Stories

“Vans”

The Pack | 2006

Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

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