Dick Dale

Richard Anthony Monsour

Dick Dale(bornRichard Anthony Monsouron May 4, 1937) is an American surf rock guitarist , known asThe King of the Surf Guitar. He pioneered the surf music style, drawing on Eastern musical scales and experimenting with reverberation . He worked closely with Fender to produce custom made amplifiers ,including the first-ever 100-watt guitar amplifier .He pushed the limits of electric amplification technology, helping to develop new equipment that was capable of producing distorted , "thick, clearly defined tones" at "previously undreamed-of volumes." The "breakneck speed of his single-note staccato picking technique" and showmanship with the guitar is considered a precursor to heavy metal music , influencing guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen .

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 Dick Dale's Early life

. He then learned to play guitar, using a combination style incorporating both lead and rhythm aspects, so that the guitar filled the place of drums. He was raised in Quincy until he completed the 11th grade at Quincy High School in 1954, when his machinist father obtained a job in the Southern California aerospace industry. His parents drove the family across the country to live in El Segundo, California . Dale spent his senior year at and graduated from Washington Senior High School .It was in Southern California that he learned to surf at the age of 17.He soon learned to play the drums and the trumpet.Due to his Lebanese heritage, he also had a strong interest in Arabic music , which later played a major role in his development of surf rock music.

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 Dick Dale's Career

However, he did so without restringing the guitar, leading him to effectively play the guitar upside-down (Hendrix, for example, restrung his guitar), often playing by reaching over the fretboard rather than wrapping his fingers up from underneath. Dale is also noted for playing his percussive, heavy bending style, using what most guitarists consider very heavy gauge strings (16p, 18p, 20p. 38w, 48w, 58wguitar string manufacturers do not make string sets for standard tuned electric guitars heavier than 13 to 56).

His desire to create a certain sound led him to push the limits of equipment.

Guitar Playermagazine. Dale broke through the electronic barrier limitations of that era!

The Rendezvous ownership and the city of Newport Beach agreed to Dale's request on the condition that he prohibit alcohol sales and implement a dress code . Dale's events at the ballrooms, called "stomps," quickly became legendary, and the events routinely sold out.Paul Johnson, guitarist for the contemporary group The Bel-Airs , recalled the electric atmosphere of the shows:

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Jungle FeverandSurf Beaton his own Deltone label. His first full-length album wasSurfers' Choicein 1962. The album was picked up by Capitol Records and distributed nationally, and Dale soon began appearing onThe Ed Sullivan Show, and in films where he played his signature singleMisirlou. He later stated, "I still remember the first night we played it ("Misirlou"). I changed the tempo, and just startedcrankingon that mother. And...it was eerie. The people came rising up off the floor, and they were chanting and stomping. I guess that was the beginning of the surfer's stomp."His second album was named after his performing nickname,King of the Surf Guitar.

Dick Dale and the Dell-tones performed the songs "My First Love," "Runnin' Wild" and "Muscle Beach" in the 1964 film,Muscle Beach Party.

Dale and the Del-Tones performed both sides of his Capitol single,Secret Surfin' Spot/Surfin' and Swingin'in the popular 1963 movie,Beach Party, starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. This helped bring Dick Dale, surf music, and surf culture to national prominence. He also appeared in the 1987 film,Back to the Beach—in which Avalon's character, reluctant to attend a Dick Dale concert, remarks to Funicello, "We can come back here in the year 2000 and see Dick!"—a testimony to Dale's continued popularity and career longevity.

Better Shred Than Dead: The Dick Dale Anthology, the thought, "Then you'll never hear surf music again," was Jimi Hendrix 's reaction upon hearing that Dale had a possibly terminal case of colon cancer, intended to encourage his comrade to recuperate. Dale, in gratitude to his late friend, later coveredThird Stone from the Sunas a tribute to Hendrix.Though he recovered, he retired from music for several years. In 1979, he almost lost a leg after being injured while swimming and a pollution-related infection made the mild injury much worse. As a result, Dale became an environmental activist and soon began performing again. He recorded a new album in 1986 and was nominated for a Grammy. In 1987 he appeared in the movieBack to the Beach, playing surf music and performingPipelinewith Stevie Ray Vaughan . In 1993, he recorded a guitar solo on the trackShould Have Knownon a vinyl single by a Southern California indie band , The Pagodas. The use ofMisirlouin the 1994 Quentin Tarantino filmPulp Fictiongained him a new audience.

In 1995, he recorded a surf-rock version of Camille Saint-Saëns 'sAquariumfromThe Carnival of the Animalsfor the musical score of the enclosed roller coaster, Space Mountain at Disneyland in Anaheim, California . In 1997, Dale appeared in the campy cult filmAn American Vampire Story, performing a rousing guitar solo on the beach with his son on drums. In 2002, Dale appeared inThe True Meaning of Christmas Specials, playing several original songs for the program.

The National Hockey League 's Colorado Avalanche use Dale's songScalpedas their theme song. The Black Eyed Peas ' songPump It(from the 2005 albumMonkey Business) heavily samples Dale'sMisirlou.Misirloualso features in the PlayStation 2 / Xbox 360 video game,Guitar Hero II, as well as the Wii video gameRayman Raving Rabbids. In the feature filmSpace Jam, as Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam (in a parody of thePulp Fictioncharacters Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield) shoot out teeth from one of the Monstars, a clip fromMisirlouplays.

Dale is also a 2011 inductee into the Surfing Walk of Fame in Huntington Beach, California , in the Surf Culture category.

In 2015, he ordered four boxes from Guam, prior to a prolonged altercation with an official from U.P.S. The boxes were refused by Dale after an attempt was made to deliver the boxes; containing cabling, to his property.

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 Dick Dale's Personal life

In early 2008, he experienced a recurrence of rectal cancer and finished a surgical, chemotherapy , and radiation treatment regimen.

in order to pay for medical bills.

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 Dick Dale's Equipment

In addition to Fender amplifiers, Dale is associated with the Fender Stratocaster guitar. Fender makes a signature model, the Dick Dale Custom Shop Stratocaster, fitted with "Custom Shop '54" pickups and intended to recreate the sound of the first Stratocaster. Dale used a reverb unit with the signal split between two Fender Dual Showman amps. As of 2010, Dale continued to play with his original reverb unit and Showman amps from the early 1960s, continuing his practice of stringing his left-handed guitar upside down. The unique features of this guitar include a toggle switch that bypasses the three position blade switch to activate neck and middle pickups only.

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 Dick Dale's Discography



  • The Silver Sounds Of The Surf(Cloister Records 1963)
  • Wild Hot Rod Wails(Diplomat Records 1964)


  • "Ooh-Whee Marie" (Deltone 1959)
  • "Stop Teasing" (Deltone 1959)
  • "Jesse Pearl" (Deltone 1960)
  • "Let's Go Trippin'" / "Del-Tone Rock" (Deltone 1961)
  • "Jungle Fever" / "Shake-N-Stomp" (Deltone 1961)
  • "Misirlou" / "Eight 'Til Midnight" (Deltone 1962)
  • "Mr. Peppermint Man" / "Surf Beat" (Capitol 1962)
  • "Secret Surfin Spot" / "Surfin' and Swingin'" (Capitol 1963)
  • "The Wedge" / "Night Rider" (Capitol 1963)
  • "Wild Ideas" / "Scavenger" (capitol 1963)
  • "Mr. Eliminator" (Capitol 1964)
  • "Let's Go Trippin' '65" / "Watusi Jo" (Capitol 1965)
  • "Let's Go Trippin'" / "Those Memories Of You" (GNP Crescendo 1975)
  • "Pipeline" withStevie Ray Vaughan, nominated for aGrammy

Compilations and lives[]


Peel Sessions[]

Dick Dale made four recordings forJohn Peel'sPeel Sessions:

  1. March 30, 1995 (Maida Vale 4)
  2. July 10, 1995 (3 Mcr.)
  3. August 28, 2002 (Maida Vale 4)
  4. March 24, 2004 (Maida Vale 4)

as the theme tune for hisBBC Radio 4seriesHome Truths.

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 Dick Dale's Notes

  1. ^abcHuey, Steve. "Dick Dale" . AllMusic. Retrieved25 July2012. 
  2. ^History , Dick Dale official website
  3. ^abcdLarkin, Colin (2000).The encyclopedia of popular music. Oxford University. p. 699. ISBN   0195313739 . 
  4. ^Porter, James and Austen, Jake (1994). "The really bitching tale of Dick Dale as told by the man himself" .Roctober Magazine. 
  5. ^Crowe, Julia (2012).My First Guitar: Tales of True Love and Lost Chords from 70 Legendary Musicians. ECW Press. pp. 92–93. ISBN   1770902759 . 
  6. ^Hodgins, Paul (March 21, 2009). "Guitar Screams On".Orange County Register. p. News 15. 
  7. ^abHodgins, Paul (March 20, 2009). "Dick Dale is still darn loud" .Orange County Register. p. News 15. 
  8. ^abcHolgate, Steve (14 September 2006). "Guitarist Dick Dale Brought Arabic Folk Song to Surf Music" .The Washington File. Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Retrieved29 August2010. 
  9. ^ab"Dick Dale – Discover music, videos, concerts, stats, & pictures at" . Last.fm. 2009-02-11. Retrieved2012-03-03. 
  10. ^Dick Dale interview,Fresh Air, WHYY / NPR , 26 July 1993, rebroadcast 25 May 2007.
  11. ^ab"Official website" . Dickdale.com. Retrieved2012-03-03. 
  12. ^abc"Rendezvous Ballroom" . Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum . Archived from the original on 2011-07-19. Retrieved13 February2011. 
  13. ^Marsh, Dave (2004). Brackett, Nathan and Hoard, Christian, ed.The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon and Schuster. p. 208. ISBN   978-0-7432-0169-8 . 
  14. ^"Washed out for a decade, surf's up again,"Los Angeles Times, 1 February 1981.
  15. ^Dick Dale,Better Shred Than Dead: The Dick Dale Anthology(Rhino Records, 1997), liner notes to Disc 2, Track 12.
  16. ^CMT : News : Rascal Flatts Perform With Toto During Musicians Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
  17. ^Carroll, Corky (June 9, 2011). "Walk of Fame inductee list one of the best ever".The Orange County Register. 
  18. ^Brainyquote, Dick Dale[dead link]
  19. ^" At 78 and with myriad health issues, surf-rock legend Dick Dale plays through the pain "Pittsburg City Paper, July 29, 2015.
  20. ^"Play One For Dick Dale" , surferspath.com
  21. ^"All hail the great Dick Dale!" . OneGreatNightOnEarth.com.au. May 16, 2011. Retrieved15 December2011. 
  22. ^http://www.dickdale.com/dates.html
  23. ^http://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/at-78-and-with-a-myriad-of-health-issues-surf-rock-legend-dick-dale-plays-through-the-pain/Content?oid=1843341
  24. ^Dick Dale at the BBC Radio 1 John Peel minisite

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 Dick Dale's References

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