Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Dick Dale: RIP: A Tribute From Henri Gann LA California

He was known as the King of Surf Guitar. He was the icon of Southern California Surf Rock Music.

Dick Dale’s guitar choice was the world-renowned Fender Stratocaster. This was also a guitar of choice of many rock musicians of the 60s.

Dick Dale had an unusual style with his guitar. He was left-handed but chose to play his guitar upside down. Using a fast up and down strokes with his pick, he created a unique style of guitar solo now often imitated in surf rock music. You can hear his guitar riffs on hits like Miserlou and Hava Nagila.

Dick Dale wanted to create a surf sound with his guitar solo. Together with Leo Fender, they experimented and used powerful electronic tube amplifiers to produce a loud undistorted and sweet guitar sound. The sound was further enhanced by passing it through an echo chamber to simulate the time delay effects of crashing waves. Both the Showman amplifier and the Fender Reverb Unit are must-haves for today’s surf rock guitarist. 

As reported in tonights' CBS evening news, Dick Dale was two-way pop culture artist: the surf guitar of the 1960s and the retro cool of the 1990s in the movie Pulp Fiction. He played with blazing speed until the end part to pay his medical bills.  He was 81 years old on March 18, 2019.

From all friends and fans in Singapore, R.I.P. Mr. Dick Dale. Condolences to his family.

Henri Gann is an old friend who lives in Los Angeles, California, US. and knows more about surf guitarists than many of us. He migrated to the US many years ago and was the lead guitarist of his local guitar group, The Trekkers. Henri has written many articles for this blog. I must thank him for alerting me on the death of Mr. Dick Dale.

Image provided by Henri Gann.
YouTube Video 

Instrumentals by Dick Dale:
Riders in the Sky, Nitro, Banzai Washout, Spanish Kiss, Esperanza, Taco Wagon, Wild Wild Mustang, The Wet Paradiso, Bony Moroni, Miserlou, The Victor, Bandito, Mister Eliminator, Little Miss Twist.

Stephen Han:
The surf guitar man

Andy Young:
Yes, and his songs are fabulous.
Thanks, Stephen.

Hiroshi Deguchi (Japan):
Cool but something Arabic, these are impressions I got when I first heard his songs. It sounded extraordinary to a boy of 14 living in far out in the country in Japan. There was no such thing as an electric guitar in my world during those days. RIP Dick Dale.

Andy Young: 
Thank you, Hiroshi. 

The unique thing about you is your ability to express your thoughts about music ideas in such a way that I now understand the situation in Japan during those years. Appreciate your sharing sir.

Andy Young:
Thank you Henri for the extra piece of information you provided on the Comment Page. Your knowledge with the late Mr. Tan (TMA) regarding sound engineering is beyond me but I am sure others will acknowledge your expertise.
Also thanks to readers above who commented on Dick Dale's tribute post.


Anonymous said...

RIP Dick


henri gann said...

Discovering the Dick Dale Fender Sound in Singapore 60s ...

Here’s what 4 youths (the Trekkers group) with Mr Tan of TMA Ltd and Joe ,his friendly electrician, discovered what it would take to produce the Surfing Guitar Sound of Dick Dale ...
.An Airtight Speaker Cabinet filled with sound absorbing material
.Two-large Classic 12 inch (Made in England) Goodman Speakers
.A separate PiggyBack Compartment with the Fenders RCA 6L6GC Power and 12AT7/12AX7 Preamp Vacuum Tubes
.Acoustic Woven Blackface Speaker Grill Cloth
Tolex Speaker Covering for a New Fender Smell plus
.A Fender Spring Reverb Unit
. A Fender Stratocaster

henri gann said...

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for news on Shadows groups around the world,