Dick Dale

Portrait
Born: May 04, 1937 AD
Currently alive, at 76 years of age.

Nationality: American
Categories: Activists, Guitarist, Musicians


1937 - born May 4th- in Boston, MA.

 

            -His father was Lebanese, his mother Polish. As a child, he was exposed to folk music from both cultures, which had an impact on his sense of melody and the ways string instruments could be picked. He also heard lots of big band swing, and found his first musical hero in drummer Gene Krupa, who later wound up influencing a percussive approach to guitar so intense that Dale regularly broke the heaviest-gauge strings available and ground his picks down to nothing several times in the same song.

 

1954  - His father encouraged him and offered career guidance, and the family moved to Southern California. At the suggestion of a country DJ, Monsour adopted the stage name Dick Dale, and began performing in local talent shows, where his budding interest in rockabilly made him a popular act.

 

1958-59 - Dale became an avid surfer, and soon set about finding ways to mimic the surging sounds and feelings of the sport and the ocean on his guitar. He quickly developed a highly distinctive instrumental sound, and found an enthusiastic, ready-made audience in his surfer friends.

 

1961 - Dale began playing regular gigs at the Rendezvous Ballroom, a once-defunct concert venue near Newport Beach, with his backing band the Del-Tones; as word spread and gigs at other local halls followed, Dale became a wildly popular attraction, drawing 1,000s of fans to every performance. In September, Del-Tone released Dale's single "Let's Go Trippin'," which is generally acknowledged to be the very first recorded surf instrumental.

 

1962 - Dale released a few more local singles, including "Jungle Fever," "Miserlou," and "Surf Beat," and issued his (and surf music's) first album, the groundbreaking Surfer's Choice, on Del-Tone. Surfer's Choice sold like hotcakes around Southern California, which earned Dale a contract with Capitol Records and national distribution for Surfer's Choice.

 

1963 - Dale was featured in Life magazine, which led to appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and the Frankie/Annette film Beach Party; he also released the follow-up LP King of the Surf Guitar, and went on to issue three more albums on Capitol through 1965. During that time, he developed a close working relationship with Leo Fender, who kept engineering bigger and better sound systems in response to Dale's appetite for louder, more maniacally energetic live performances.

 

1966 - he was diagnosed with cancer, which forced him to temporarily retire from music. He beat the disease, however, and soon began pursuing other interests: owning and caring for a variety of endangered animals, studying martial arts, designing his parents' dream house, and learning to pilot planes.

 

1970's-80's - Dale performed occasionally around Southern California.

 

1992 - Dale did a guest spot on an album by the San Francisco-based Psychefunkapus, and a successful Bay Area gig got him signed with Hightone Records. The album Tribal Thunder was released in 1993.

 

1994 - "Miserlou" was chosen as the opening theme to Quentin Tarantino's blockbuster film Pulp Fiction. "Miserlou" became synonymous with Pulp Fiction's ultra-hip sense of style, and was soon licensed in countless commercials (as were several other Dale tracks). As a result, Tribal Thunder and its 1994 follow-up Unknown Territory attracted lots of attention, earning positive reviews and surprisingly strong sales.

 

1996 - by joining the normally punk- and ska-oriented Warped Tour. Adding his wife and young drum-playing son to his band, Dale refocused on touring over the next few years.

 

2001 - He finally returned with a new CD, Spacial Disorientation, issued on the Sin-Drome label.

 

 

 

 

Page last updated: 7:28am, 01st Jan '14
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