He was born Richard Anthony Monsour on May 4, 1937, but the rest of the world knows him as Dick Dale, the King Of The Surf Guitar. He was largely credited for kickstarting the Surf Rock movement singlehandedly, and in fact, "Let's Go Trippin'," released in 1961, is perhaps the first surf instrumental in rock history. Dick was one of the most powerful guitar players of his time, responsible for various innovations in rock, such as introducing the use of reverb to create a "wet" sound.He's also known for his staccato, rapid-fire style of playing, which lead him to break the heaviest guitar strings on the market at the time. In fact, his playing was so intense that Fender made custom amplifiers for him, including the first 100 watt amp. For these and other reasons, Dick wound up being a huge influence on Jimi Hendrix. Interestingly, Dick was left-handed, and managed to pave all this new ground while playing his guitar upside-down without restringing it, which even the fellow leftie Hendrix couldn't boast.His heyday was in the 1960s, prior to The British Invasion. However, Dick also managed a resurgence in popularity when one of his signature tunes, the cover of "Misirlou", was featured on the soundtrack for Pulp Fiction.He's also responsible for the soundtrack to Rocket Jockey, but given the obscurity of said game, nobody noticed.Dick Dale is also an environmental activist, stemming from when he almost lost a leg due to an injury from swimming, made worse by a pollution infection.Dale now lives in Twentynine Palms, California and still occasionally performs, notably with his son, Jimmy Dale, on the drums.Albums
- Surfers Choice (1962)
LET'S! GO! TROPIN'!
- As Himself: Back to the Beach
- "Awesome McCool" Name: The Added Alliterative Appeal helps.
- Career Resurrection: Thanks to Pulp Fiction.
- Car Song / Cool Car: "The Scavenger", "Grudge Match".
- Drugs Are Bad: He not only abstains from drugs, but also discourages his crew as well.
- Future Music: Collaborating with composer Aarin Richard and ride producer Eddie Sotto, he provided the theme music for Disneyland's ride Space Mountain. This piece was used from 1996 to 2003 (when the ride was closed for remodeling; after it reopened in 2005, a new, more symphonic piece by Michael Giacchino was used).
- Greatest Hits Album: A career spanning over five decades is bound to build up a significant amount. The single-disc King of the Surf Guitar: The Best of Dick Dale is a critical favorite, but if that isn't enough for you, there's also the double-disc set Better Shred Than Dead: The Dick Dale Anthology which one-ups many others by covering his 90s comeback on top of his peak years.
- Instrumental: "Misirlou" and "Let's Go Trippin'" in particular, though there are more songs.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Averages a 6. Not much of a ruckus by today's standards, but for the early 1960s, Dick's music was intense.
- Music of Note: As the pioneer of Surf Rock, definitely so!
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: The start of "Let's Go Trippin'".
- Sampling: He is not happy about The Black Eyed Peas using "Misirlou" for "Pump It".
- Sequel Song: "Miserlou Twist." It's "Miserlou" with strings!
- The Southpaw: Lefthanded, yet still uses a right hand instrument.
- Surfer Dude: As the poster boy for the Surf Rock genre, this is an obvious title.
- Surf Rock: The Trope Maker.