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 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.
Dick Dale was also an environmental activist, stemming from when he almost lost a leg due to an injury from swimming, made worse by a pollution infection.
At the end of his life, Dale lived in Twentynine Palms, California and still occasionally performed, notably with his son, Jimmy Dale, on the drums. He died on March 16, 2019 at age 81.
- Awesome McCoolname: The Alliteration helps.
- Career Resurrection: Thanks to Pulp Fiction.
- Car Song / Cool Car: "The Scavenger", "Grudge Match".
- Drugs Are Bad: He not only abstained from drugs, but also discouraged his crew as well.
- Epic Riff: This guy made a career out of them!
- Greatest Hits Album: A career spanning over five decades is bound to build up a significant amount.
- Music of Note: He pretty much invented Surf Rock.
- 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".
- Signature Song: "Misirlou," "Let's Go Trippin'."
- Sobriquet: "King Of The Surf Guitar"
- Surfer Dude
- Surf Rock: The Trope Maker.