King Of The Surf Guitar
REVIEW BY: David Bowling
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/12/2008
When the instrumental group The Ventures was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame several weeks ago, I found myself thinking of Dick Dale; if any artist can be said to be the originator of the
Dale began his music career by playing small
In 1962, Dale released his Surfer’s Choice album on the independent Del-Tone Label. This independent release sold an unprecedented 75,000 copies and prompted Capital, home of the Beach Boys and the Beatles, to sign him to a contract. King Of The Surf Guitar was Dale’s first Capital label album, released in 1963.
King Of The Surf Guitar is not just an instrumental album. Such Songs as “Dick Dale Stomp,” “What’d I Say” and “Greenback Dollar” all feature Dale’s r&b tinged vocals set to a twanging guitar, with his innovative saxophone sound filling in between the guitar breaks.
It is the instrumentals, however, that put the Dale sound across. His original “Break Time” and “Riders In The Sky” both establish his Stratocaster guitar as synonymous with the
I saw Dale in concert in 1989. He was still playing his Stratocaster and while his sound has been modernized, his surf background was present. Besides, the man could just plain play the guitar. Now in his seventies, Dale is still cranking out his unique sounds on the road.
King Of The Surf Guitar, now 45 years old, is an excellent look at the origins of a unique branch of American rock & roll.