Dick Dale who formulated the surf rock sound in the early 60s, and had the hit song “Misirlou” in 1962, died on March 16, 2019. He was 81 years old. Sam Bolle, his bassist, confirmed his death.
Dale released records on his own label with the Deltones. The sound of his band led the way for other acts such as Eddie and the Showmen, the Pyramids, the Chantays, and the Surfaris.
Fender built to Dale’s specifications the first left-handed edition of his Stratocaster guitar.
Dale’s fifth single, “Let’s Go Trippin’ released in 1961 is credited to launching the surf rock craze.
Dale claimed Frank Sintra wanted to manage him, but he turned down the offer because of Sinatra wanting 90 percent of his earnings.
The guitarist appeared on multiple television shows performing on “Hollywood a Go Go,” “Late Night With Conan O’Brien, “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “Late Night With David Letterman,” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
He also appeared in multiple movies and television shows primarily playing himself on “An American Vampire Story,” “Muscle Beach Party,” “Beverly Hills, 90210,” “Let’s Make Love,” and “Aloha, Scooby-Doo!”
Dale released 14 compilations, 11 LP’s, and numerous live albums. He also released 11 singles. “Mirsirlou” was used in Quentin Tarantino’s movie “Pulp Fiction,” and the Black Eyed Peas sampled it for their song “Pump It.”
Dale is also credited for inspiring other guitarists like Eddie Van Halen and Jimi Hendrix.
Despite suffering from rectal cancer twice, diabetes, and damaged vertebrae he continued touring and was booked for May and summer months.
Dale is survived by his partner Lana and son Jimmie.
Written by Barbara Sobel
The Guardian: Dick Dale, godfather of surf guitar, dies aged 81
Daily Mail: Dick Dale, Guitar Legend who pioneered surf rock, dies aged 81 after lengthy battle with multiple illnesses
Variety: Dick Dale, Surf Guitar King, Dies at 81
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