Tuesday, February 24, 2009

YouTube - Dick Dale - Nitro

YouTube - Dick Dale - Nitro A few years ago on Memorial Day weekend I went up to the Wellfleet Beachcomber on Cahoon's Hollow Beach with my brother Scott and his wife Leslie to see the legendary Dick Dale "The King of the Surf Guitar". Dick is a man of tremendous energy and has a unique percussive way of playing his right handed Fender Stratocaster guitar upside down and left handed.

Born in Boston in May of 1937, Dick Dale has had a memorable career. He invented surf music in the mid-1950's. Leo Fender of Fender guitars gave Dick an amplifier along with the guitar and Dick kept blowing them up as he would play too loud with some of the amps bursting into flames. Dick blew up 49 amps and speakers according to Dick Dale's official website until Dick and Leo Fender went to James B. Lansing (JBL) and between them they designed a series of amps that could produce the sound that would pulsate into the audience. With these new amps Dick Dale became "The Father of Heavy Metal" according to Guitar Magazine.

One of Dick Dale's memorable songs is "Misirlou" which was the opening theme song for the movie "Pulp Fiction" in addition to being features in Domino's Pizza and Mountain Dew commercials. At the 'Comber performance during one of his songs Dick walked out of the building and climbed a large sand dune next to the building and was playing along with his bass player and drummer the whole time with the sunset and the ocean to his back and the wind swirling around him. This was quite a vivid scene and combined with the LOUD and frantic pace of his music it definitely added up to a memorable moment.

Dick Dale lives in the high California Desert at 29 Palms and has had as pets a jaguar, a lioness, and a Bengal Sumatran tiger. His son Jimmy often tours with him. He recently is recovering from a bout of colon cancer and surgery and is scheduled to resume touring starting on March 4th.

If you have a chance to see this living legend, don't pass it by.