Saying Goodbye to the “King of the Surf Guitar”

Musician Dick Dale dies at age 81.

Dick Dale, a pioneering guitarist who inspired numerous musicians of his generation and beyond, died this weekend at the age of 81.

According to Rolling Stone, “As the progenitor of the surf rock genre and an innovator who helped stretch the possibilities of the electric guitar, Dale inspired musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, Ry Cooder and the Beach Boys. Dale’s “Miserlou” was also notably featured in the opening credits sequence of Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction.

“Born Richard Monsour in Boston in 1937, Dale first played ukulele and then guitar as a child; Dale’s father, with Lebanese roots, taught his son the Middle Eastern scales that would later form the backbone of surf music.

“After moving to Southern California as a senior in high school in 1954, Dale developed an obsession of surfing, ultimately combining his two passions and teaming with the Del-Tones to create tracks like 1961’s “Let’s Go Trippin’,” considered the first surf rock song, and the following year’s “Miserlou,” Dale’s take on an Eastern Mediterranean song; the Beach Boys would cover ‘Let’s Go Trippin’” two years later on their 1963 LP Surfin’ U.S.A.

Read more about Dale and his legacy here.

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