'Onstage... I’d been playing it real loud through these small, 60-watt Sears and Roebuck amplifiers, and the kids were hollering and screaming for it. But in the studio, the sound was too clean, too country. So I started experimenting, and I punched holes in the speakers with a pencil, trying to [recreate] that dirty, fuzzy sound I was getting onstage. And on the third take, there it was, just like magic.'
Released in the United States on March 31, 1958,... ‘Rumble’ utilized the techniques of distortion and feedback, then largely unexplored in rock and roll. The single is the only instrumental ever banned from radio in the United States... Eventually the instrumental came to the attention of record producer Archie Bleyer of Cadence Records, who hated it, particularly after Wray poked holes in his amplifier's speakers to make the recording sound more like the live version. But Bleyer's stepdaughter loved it, so he released it despite his misgivings.
pushing a string
waves (implied, air)
shape of sound (danger)