When Dick Dale set off on his first surfing run, he became obsessed with channeling the sound of the waves into music. When I started banging on my guitar, I was trying to emulate that fat, thick sound. Dale passed away of heart failure at 81 on Saturday Mar. Yet, his ripples continue to emanate through popular music.
R.I.P. Dick Dale: 12 Artists Influenced by the King of the Surf Guitar
Dick Dale: – | Premier Guitar
Ah, the sound of surf guitar: a Fender Jaguar or Jazzmaster through the metallic sproing of a spring reverb unit set to full depth. As a matter of fact, the most notable name in all of surf guitar, Dick Dale, founded the sound using entirely different components, and he will tell you that the classic surf tone is something very different. The entire genre was certainly prefigured by instrumental rock and roll and pop tunes from artists such as Duane Eddy , The Ventures, The Shadows from the U. He created the most sensation for the sound by filling the Rendezvous Ballroom in Balboa, Calif. He also arguably generated the most energy, with his furious vibrato-picked solos and frenetic musical embodiment of the whole surfer lifestyle. Dale really surfed , unlike many musicians, and at night he went out and played the guitar like a man on a two-hour adrenaline rush.
How Dick Dale Changed the Sound of Rock Guitar
This was a deliberate move on his part. The guitarist was also a surfer and he wanted his music to capture the experience of riding waves. Dale maintained that the key to surf rock is in the rhythm, how it mimics the rush of the water.
Long hailed as the indisputable King of Surf Guitar and the Father of Loud, living legend and American icon Dick Dale never actually set out to define a genre—that was left to the throngs devotees who followed in his wake. Others played surfing songs. Often, my songs had nothing to do with surfing, but they had the surfing sound the way I played it. The guitar was the surfing sound. I played every song I could get my hands on, every kind of music, because I was an entertainer.