Originally Published: October 3, 2007 7:35 a.m.
Dick Dale is the inventor of the surf guitar. Producer and film extraordinaire Quentin Tarantino revived Dale's retro-style of guitar by making Misirlou the lead song for "Pulp Fiction", which is how most people in my generation know of Dick Dale's music.
But Tarantino chose Dale's surf-infused music for several reasons - it's gritty, it's talented, it's honest, it's original, and it's upbeat. Here's an interesting fact or two about the great Dick Dale - he plays on wider strings than the average guitarrist. That's why he tends to literally cut up his hands during shows. Mr. Dale also is known for the tigers and lions he's been known to keep at his Southern California residences.
Dick Dale still tours today, and I think he makes stops in the Phoenix and Tucson areas about once a year. I highly recommend going to one if you ever get the chance to see him. Dick still can play with the best of them, and often hangs around after shows for about 15 minutes to give autographs. (He was kind enough to sign my ticket, and my friend's hat.)
So, enough random facts - what tracks are worth listening to?
On "Dick Dale's Greatest Hits", check out The Wedge, a swanky version of Peter Gunn, Surf Buggy, a revamped version of Misirlou, Surf Beat, and Mr. Eliminator.
On the album, "King of the Surf Guitar", listen to one of the strangest covers of Hava Nagila out on the market, in addition to You Are My Sunshine.