Musician Dick Dale, “The King of the Surf Guitar” died in Loma Linda, California on March 16, 2019. He was 81.
The American guitarist was a pioneer of surf music and his 1962 single “Let’s Go Trippin’” is often regarded as the first surf rock song. His signature sound mixed staccato picking and reverb with Middle Eastern melodies. Although his chart success in the 1960s was brief, his influence was immense.
Dale’s most iconic piece was his arrangement of “Misirlou,” a traditional Middle Eastern song. Dale put his own spin on, turning it into an American hit. It was then used famously in the opening titles of “Pulp Fiction” and gained him a new audience in the 1990s.
Dale performed up until the very end. He was in poor health for years but claimed that he was forced to keep touring to afford medical treatment. He even had plans for a 2019 tour.
Watch Dick Dale’s “Surfin’ And A-Swingin’” performed on October 6, 1963: