Dick Dale 2011
Dick Dale "King of the Surf Guitar" was a surfer and wanted his music to reflect the sounds he heard in his mind while surfing. While he is primarily known for introducing the use of guitar reverb that would give the guitar a "wet" sound, which has since become a staple of surf music, it was Dale's staccato picking that was his trademark. Since Dale was left-handed he was initially forced to play a right-handed model, like Jimi Hendrix. His outrageous styling on stage was an influence on the young Hendrix. However, he did so without restringing the guitar, leading him to effectively play the guitar upside-down (while Hendrix would restring his guitar)
"Let's Go Trippin'" is often regarded as the first surf rock song. This was followed by more locally released songs, including "Jungle Fever" and "Surf Beat" on his own Deltone label. His first full-length album was Surfers' Choice in 1962. The album was picked up by Capitol Records and distributed nationally, and Dale soon began appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show, and in films where he played his signature single "Misirlou". Dick's second album was named after his performing nickname, King of the Surf Guitar.
In July 1961 Dale begain playing at the Rendezvous Ballroom in Newport Beach, California. The first night was a bit disappointing, only 17 of his friends, many of them surfers, came to hear him play. But within four months, he was playing to sell out crowds.
PHOTO: Once there was a Dick Dale's "Surfs Up" in Newport Beach. Photo courtesy of Russ Rinner.
PHOTO: Dick Dale High Desert
PHOTO: Deltone Records 45, Let's Go Trippin'
PHOTO: Dick Dale an his Del-Tones, Surfers' Choice Album Cover
PHOTO: Dick Dale and wife Lana.