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Dick Dale and His Del-Tones

Guitarist Dick Dale was born Richard Monsour in Boston, Massachusetts in 1937. From a young age he learned to play a variety of instruments, including the tarabaki and the oud. The pivotal moment in Dale's life came at the age of 17 when his family moved to California, setting in motion a chain of events which would see him etched into West Coast music culture and later become one of the most influential guitarists in his genre.

With a Lebanese ancestry, Dale drew upon his Arabic heritage while seeking musical inspiration leading him to develop his distinctly unique sound. His signature melody was his furiously energetic, instrumental version of the traditional folk song 'Misirlou'. The track provided a musical backdrop to California's surfing boom of the 1960s and would later gain a new lease of life when Quentin Tarantino chose it for the opening sequence of 'Pulp Fiction' (1994).

Although Dale's musical legacy might be defined by 'Misirlou' and other surfing soundtracks performed by his band the Del-Tones such as 'Let's Go Trippin'', he also gained recognition for his development work with Leo Fender, particularly in the field of guitar amplification. In later life, Dale was a renowned campaigner for environmental issues. He died in 2019 at the age of 81.


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