Dick Dale, King of Surf Guitar, 'Miserlou' composer, is dead


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"Miserlou," which would become his signature song, had been adapted from a Middle Eastern folk tune Dale heard as a child and later transformed into a thundering surf-rock instrumental.

It means "The Egyptian Girl" in Greek. I remember listening to it on the monaural AM radio in my Dad's 1964 Ford Galaxie 500 on my way to our local drive-in movie. Rock and Roll forever!

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It is a sad day for guitarists surfers and music lovers everywhere. Dick Dale was a pioneer in playing and provided valuable input on the design of guitars and amps to Leo Fender. He also rescued and raised exotic animals. In recent years his monthly medical bills were so high it was all he could do to continue treatments. Rest in Peace Great One.

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Dick Dale and Danny Gatton walk into a bar...

I cannot even fathom the genius stuff that is happening right now.

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RIP Dick Dale.

Crank it up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UmmbF1Zyvk

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Dick Dale surfed. The Beach Boys (aside from Dennis Wilson) didn't. Enough said.

Grew up listening to his early stuff and still do. Always pumps me up to surf and rip.

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Dick Dale had a wonderful bayside house at the tip of the Balboa Peninsula, steps from the famous surfing spot, the Wedge. I know this as, when in high school after a day in the water, we rang his doorbell. He invited us in and gave us each a beer. He was a class act - never forgot his roots.

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I saw and met Dick Dale at a concert on May 15, 2003. We all shook hands with him and he signed our tickets. A very energetic innovative guitar hero he is. I was stationed at a Navy base in California in 1987 and even saw Stevie Ray Vaughn live in Monterey that Memorial Day weekend. The movie itself was a dud however. Nonetheless that's where I first heard about Dick Dale.

It must be noted that because he burned out those amps the way he did he also has the appellation 'Father of Heavy Metal'. He influenced so many genres - surf, metal, glam, punk, etc.

That evening I saw Dick Dale play and met him was a night I'll never forget. He was so cool. It was rainy earlier that evening but midway through the show he played his guitar in the midst of the audience, then he went outside the theater to play in the middle of the street and shake hands with stopped motorists before going back inside. In the meantime the skies were clearing and the full moon was already in a partial stage of an ongoing total eclipse. After the show ended and the afterwards meet-and-greets were done we had to exit, it was closing time. About 15-20 minutes later the progressing lunar eclipse had reached totality. The moon was a bloody cherry red in color! Since astronomy is a hobby of mine, this whole night was full of special treats for me.

What a unique special evening that was!


Enjoy your new home in Rock'n'roll Heaven.

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SpeedMar. 18 04:52 pm JSTDick Dale surfed. The Beach Boys (aside from Dennis Wilson) didn't. Enough said.

Grew up listening to his early stuff and still do. Always pumps me up to surf and rip.

The Beach Boys added their famous harmonizing to the surf guitar sound to create their unique musical identity.

This article and a similar one in Rolling Stone magazine says that 'Miserlou' and other Dick Dale songs are inspired by Arabian musical scales and he applied that to electric guitar. You could say that Dick Dale may be a 'world music' pioneer. Before George Harrison of the Beatles explored India music with the sitar, before Paul Simon made his classic 'Graceland' album with African musicians, before the emergence of ska and reggae, before Prince began utilizing Arabian instruments like the oud for his modern psychedelic excursions, before the Rolling Stones worked with Moroccan musicians on their 1989 'Steel Wheels' album, and before Peter Gabriel started his 'world beat' explorations - there was this guy, Dick Dale applying his Arabian musical heritage into the fusion of white + black music genres that we know as rock'n'roll.


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