Guitar Virtuoso/Pioneer Dick Dale Dies at 81
Dick Dale, who was best known for his unmistakable pioneering surf-guitar sound and staccato technique, has died at the age of 81 from various health complications.
Dale's bassist, Sam Bolle, confirmed the news to the Guardian, but no other specific details of his death are available yet.
Although primarily an icon for his influence on rock 'n' roll, Dale inspired countless musicians in all genres due to his uniquely progressive sound, which many perhaps will remember via his most famous composition "Miserlou" (featured in 1994's hit movie Pulp Fiction).
Born Richard Monsour in Boston, Dale relocated to Los Angeles with his family as a teenager. As a child, he had a wide repertoire of musical tastes, including jazz and rockabilly, all of which informed his guitar experimentation. He had a fascination with country music, particularly worshipping Hank Williams, and even took up the ukulele in an attempt to teach himself to play "cowboy" songs.
Dale is said to have been the "guinea pig" for the Fender Stratocaster, an iconic instrument well-loved by many country guitarists such as Vince Gill, Keith Urban, and Brad Paisley. As a lefty, he famously played the instrument upside down, which added to his inimitable sound, and led to his title of "King of the Surf Guitar."
Dale is survived by his wife, Lana; and his son, James, who is a drummer that worked with his father.
Who Is Country's Current Best Guitarist? Here Are a Few Worth Debating: