Dick Dale, nicknamed “The King of the Surf Guitar,” died Saturday at age 81.
Born Richard Monsour, Dale is credited with inventing the surf guitar sound during a lengthy early 1960s residency at the Rendezvous club in Balboa, California and for releasing the first surf-rock single, “Let’s Go Trippin’,” in 1961. It was his highest charting single nationally, at number-60, although “Miserlou,” which added strains of the music of his Lebanese heritage to his surf sound, was probably his best known — especially after it was revived in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction in 1995.
Dale’s career had two prolific periods recording-wise, 1961 through ‘65 and, following a 1987 duet with Stevie Ray Vaughan on the surf instrumental classic “Pipeline” for the movie Back to the Beach, the mid-’90s. During that time, he released three hard-rocking albums that updated his original surf sound and found him a new audience that kept him on the road for the remainder of his life.