Guitarist Dick Dale 1937 – 2019

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Dick Dale, “The King Of The Surf Guitar,” died at the age of 81. Bassist Sam Bolle, who performed with Dale, confirmed the influential guitarist’s death to media outlets.

Born Richard Anthony Monsour on May 4, 1937, Dale was raised in Quincy, Massachusetts until his early teens when his family moved to Southern California. Dale had been playing guitar for a few years when he took up surfing following the move. Dale began to experiment with the sounds he could make with his Fender guitar and amps, developing a rapid picking technique which he combined with heavy reverb and the influence of Middle-Eastern and Arabic music.

In 1961, Dale released the instrumental single “Let’s Go Trippin'” that is considered among the first of “surf rock” genre. Dale’s 1962 version of the traditional Eastern Mediterranean “Misirlou” became one of the guitarist’s signature songs, getting a second wave of notoriety after its prominent use in the 1994 film, Pulp Fiction. Other notable hits for Dale included “Secret Surfing Spot” which he performed in the 1963 film Beach Party, ”Shake-N-Stomp,” “Swingin’ and Surfin’” and “Jungle Fever,” among others.

After a mid-career break, Dale resumed touring in the 1980s and despite several health issues, continued performing live throughout the rest of his career.