EXPERIENCE ROCK HISTORY!
DICK DALE and his Del-Tones
Here is the earliest entry of the “1960s Historic & Classic Rock Albums” from way back in 1962 and appropriately from the Man that started it all!
He started my record collection, he started my interest in electric guitar but way more importantly he started the whole Surf Rock and Surf Guitar Genre as he was bending, shredding and distorting the guitar before anyone!
He is the Man to which every guitarist today must pay tribute; the “King of the Surf Guitar”, Dick Dale.
I was 11 years old when I bought my first album, “Surfers’ Choice” with my own money. It was probably $2.98 or less; 45 RPM singles were around $ .59 – so this was a major investment and worth every penny.
I had one of those Portable Lift-the-Lid-Turntable-Rises-Up Pivot Out-Speakers Tabletop Sound Systems and because this was my first LP I played it over and over and never got bored as it was Too Cool!
First off, check out the totally bitchen cover art! Wow, it still stands out among all the rest today!
The color theory use of vibrant fire-red on blue is a natural eye-catcher and the yellow Surfers’ Choice lettering was Totally Boss!
And Dick Dale was a real surfer; we knew this because the cover photo showed him surfing!
In the years to come the Surfing Culture and Surf Music became huge; especially in Southern California where the sun and surf, the Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, tan blonde beach babes and the whole equally happenin’ Hot Rod/Car Culture all came together to the point that there was a caste system of Ho-Dads, Surfers and Gremmies. Ho-Dads were the latter day Hoodlum hot rod/motorcycle types (or at least dressed like them) with slicked back hair and black leather jackets; Surfers were Surfers or their “Surfer” friends and Gremmies were the wannabe surfers of the day.
I fell into a cross-over category as I sported a Bomber Jacket, Blue Tips, White T-shirt, Jeans and a favorite Tiki God necklace. I was badass with a surfer style plus my naturally blonde hair gave me an edge over all the Gremmies who peroxided their hair to look like they’d been out in the sun surfing – but never went near the ocean. Even though I was prone to water-pressure ear infections; I still lived in the ocean and body-surfed with style.
My high school was near the beach and one summer every day after summer school (and weekends) I’d hit the beach. This totaled every day of summer vacation, three months, except for seven days. I was about seventeen and became a beach bum, a native, and didn’t shower that whole summer BUT my skin was golden brown, my hair was golden blonde, and the ocean was my natural shower every day. I was livin’ “island” life, everyone should be able to do it in their lifetime, it’s really cool! I enjoyed the freedom and was destined for a Bohemian lifestyle early on; the move to a Hippie was natural – but as a Hippie I showered; I wasn’t one of the smelly Hippies that today’s revisionist critics like to chide – I never lived in a commune, well, not really a commune just sorta communal.
The point is that Surf Music and Polynesian Culture was super hot and so was Dick Dale; he had his pulse on the whole scene and became an important Icon and entrepreneur on many levels throughout his incredible career.
Dick Dale and his music are timeless!
Over three decades after the release of Surfers’ Choice, the cut “Miserlou” became a Sound Stamp on an era, on a film, and of an attitude!
“Pulp Fiction” would not have had the indelible stamp that it has without Dick Dale; Tarantino knows this.
I wish I could have been at the editing session where the opening film sequence and the music came together for the first time – Amanda Plummer’s savage speech ends and Dick Dale’s Miserlou shreds across the screen – that WAS the essence of “Pulp Fiction”.
The following tunes are forever burned into my brain from many repeated joyful listening’s.
Surfers’ Choice (in Delphonic High Fidelity!) track list:
Surf Beat, Sloop John B, Take It Off, Night Owl, Fanny Mae, Misirlou Twist, Peppermint Man, Surfing Drums, Shake ‘n’ Stomp, Lovey Dovey, Death of a Gremmie, Let’s Go Trippin’.
COMPLETE THE SURFER’S CHOICE LP AND THEN, …
Check out DD live on TV in ’63:
DICK DALE – LIVE 1963 – ED SULLIVAN SHOW
And here’s a really cool Trip; a video of Dick Dale from March 12, 2012 concert at the local Canyon Club that I was fortunate to attend.
Dick Dale’s son Jimmy is on drums – the kid’s awesome; like Keith Moon with finesse. My viewpoint was the same as the camera only from the opposite angle.
Dick’s reference at the end to the audience being his medicine was that since a successful bout with cancer he feels that much of his remedy is from performing and the joy it gives him from the audience’s response.
DICK DALE – LIVE 2012 – CANYON CLUB – MISERLOU!
Dick Dale is in his 70s and proves that there are still good times to be had by any of us who still have the joyful “Spirit of Rock” within.
Let’s Go Trippin’!