19 March 2019 - Surf Guitar Legend Dick Dale dies at 81
Dick Dale obituary
Garth Cartwright (The Guardian, 18/03/2019)
Dick Dale, who has died aged 81, was the American guitarist whose powerful twang saw him hailed as the King of the Surf Guitar. His chart success in the 1960s was brief, yet as a pioneer of the electric guitar his influence was immense, and in 1994 he won a huge new audience when Quentin Tarantinoused Dale’s 1962 recording of the Greek standard Misirlou over the opening credits of his hit film Pulp Fiction.
Dale’s 1961 single, Let’s Go Trippin’, issued on his own label, Del-Tone Records, is now considered the first surf record. The following year, on Misirlou (originally titled Miserlou), he mixed Arabic scales with reverb to create one of the most exciting instrumentals in rock history.
Dale issued his debut album, the live Surfers’ Choice, in late 1962. Such was its popularity that a bidding war began and he was signed to Capitol Records in early 1963. His debut Capitol 45 was King of the Surf Guitar, also the title of an album that June. Surf music had by now become a phenomenon and Dale’s fellow southern Californians the Beach Boys were also gaining fame: on their 1963 album Surfin’ USA they covered Misirlou and Let’s Go Trippin’.
Dick Dale: 'King of Surf Rock' guitarist dies aged 81
Mark Savage (BBC, 18/03/2019)
Dale was known for his blindingly fast strumming style, which inspired acts like The Beach Boys and Jimi Hendrix.
He said the sound reminded him of the rumble and crash of the waves, and the noises of marine animals as he surfed in California.
Dale's bassist Sam Bolle confirmed the star had died on Saturday night.
The cause of death is not yet known, but the guitarist had a long history of ill health, including renal failure, diabetes and cancer.
Dale's agent called his death "a sad day for rock 'n' roll".
Dick Dale: 1937–2019
Dave Hunter (Premier Guitar, 18/03/2019)
Although he is often discussed purely within the context of surf music, Dick Dale was one of the earliest and most influential guitar heroes of the post-swing era of popular music and a central figure in transitioning ’50s rock ’n’ roll to a more raucous breed of ’60s rock.
Rarely has the phrase ”ahead of his time” been so aptly applied as in the case of Dick Dale, who died at age 81 on Saturday, March 16, while in treatment for heart and kidney failure at the Loma Linda University Medical Center in Loma Linda, California. Dale used his equipment, unique playing technique, and the power of sheer volume to create a musical experience of the sort that wouldn’t be the norm among other guitarists for another half-decade or more—in the process, earning the title “the Father of Heavy Metal,” in addition to having been crowned “the King of Surf Guitar.” In so doing, Dale also played a major role in shaping the equipment needed for this bombastic new form of cultural expression, thereby both enabling and legitimizing the pure need for power for future generations.
Surf rocker Dick Dale shaped the sound of Southern California — and spread it to the world
Mikael Wood (Los Angeles Times, 18/03/2019)
Dick Dale played electric guitar like he was more interested in the electricity than in the guitar.
Listen to the way he starts his signature song, “Misirlou,” with the sound of his pick slicing against a quivering string — a power line, basically — to create the audible equivalent of sparks.
The tune is a traditional Arabic melody that Dale, born Richard Monsour, picked up during his childhood outside Boston as the son of an immigrant father from Lebanon. But when he adapted the song in the early 1960s, the guitarist cranked the tempo and the volume so that it seemed to crackle with fresh adventure.