Dick Dale "2011 Surf Culture"

King of the Surf Guitar

PHOTO: Courtesy Dick Dale & Michael Ochs Archive

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.

PHOTO:  Rendezvous Ballroom, courtesy Dick Dale & Michael Ochs Archive

PHOTO: Once there was a Dick Dale's "Surfs Up" in Newport Beach. Photo courtesy of Russ Rinner.
PHOTO: PT on Induction Day presenting Dick Dale. Photo courtesy Lew Harrison
PHOTO: Dick Dale story telling on Induction Day. Photo courtesy Lew Harrison


PHOTO: Courtesy Dick Dale & Michael Ochs Archive
PHOTO: Dick Dale High Desert
PHOTO: Dick Dale an his Del-Tones, Surfers' Choice Album.  This debut album of Dick Dale and his Del-Tones, pioneers in the surf genre. It was released in 1962.
PHOTO: Deltone Records 45, Let's Go Trippin'
PHOTO: The Dick Dale induction stone
PHOTO: Dick Dale and wife Lana.