Dick Dale, Californian musician inventor of the surf guitar, who had a major influence on the Beach Boys, Jimi Hendrix and heavy metal, died at the age of 81, according to his entourage.
Dale – his real name Richard Monsour – became known with the tube Misirlou , at the head of his combo The Del Tones at the end of the 1950s. Misirlou serves as music of generic to the cult film Pulp Fiction of Quentin Tarantino.
His death Saturday was confirmed by one of his former drummers Dusty Watson. The cause of death is not known. He continued to perform on stage until very recently.
Former Beach Boy Brian Wilson paid tribute to him: “Dick’s guitar playing has had a huge influence on us all,” he tweeted . The Beach Boys had also taken over Misirlou on their album Surfin ‘USA in 1963. “RIP Dick Dale – Father of the surf guitar. We owe you all a lot. Rock on, “wrote Brian May, Queen’s guitarist.
Dale is considered the inventor of the surf guitar style, characterized by hyper-saturated sound and reverb effects.
In fact, he had worked with legendary electric guitar maker Leo Fender to design amps that could handle deafening volumes. Which earned him the nickname “father of heavy metal”.
Himself a good surfer, he described his technique, in an interview with the New York Times in 1994, as “a style of heavy machine gun staccato” in reference to “the power of Mother Nature, our land and our ocean”.
Dale, a Libano-American, was born in 1937 in Boston before spending his adolescence in California.
Essentially instrumental, surf music – subgenre of the vast American rock scene – peaked in the early 1960s, with bands such as Del Tones, Jan and Dean, Ventures and especially the Beach Boys. It is inseparable from California and its surf culture hedonist.