Dick Dale, the surf guitar legend is dead at 81. The news was confirmed by Dale’s live bassist Sam Bolle via The Guardian. The guitar pioneer was known for writing a surf-guitar arrangement of “Misirlou,” which he titled “Miserlou.” , the famous film-themed music in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. He is the man who left a huge legacy in surf culture and influenced generations of rock guitar lovers.
Dale was born Richard Anthony Monsour in 1937, growing up in a Middle Eastern family (his father was Lebanese and his mother was Polish) with a special musical gift. Influenced by Middle Eastern folk tunes and Eastern European melodies, his endeavored singular guitar skills such as high-speed, reverb, staccato picking. He started his surf guitar passion and accumulated a fan base in the late 50s, and since then, he just stayed focused and devoted himself to surf rock culture. After the hits of “Miserlou” and “Let’s Go Trippin” in the 60s, Dale gained larger popularities as well as public recognition in the globe.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t cultivate health in his old age. Dale was in poor health, suffering from renal failure, diabetes, damaged vertebrae, rectal cancer. But the legend kept touring to afford medical treatment, he even planned 2019 tour dates.
Pitchfork reveals Dale’s positive opinion of death, which he wants to die “onstage in an explosion of body parts.” without any fears:
“You tell the people, ‘Don’t be scared of dying.’ When your mind leaves this body, it is a beautiful thing and it is not to be feared. Don’t let that fear of dying affect the way you live. You take that fear and you use it as a driving force to keep moving forward, no matter how much pain you have. That’s how I do what I do on stage. I’m not afraid to die because it all gets beautiful from here.”