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Surf Music pioneer Dick Dale dies at 81

Classic Rock

Surf Music pioneer Dick Dale dies at 81

The American guitarist Dick Dale died on sunday (17) at 81, the official cause of Dick’s death, born Richard Anthony Monsour in Boston was a heart failure, but is known to have been suffering from cancer also.


Dick Dale, the pioneer surf rock guitarist, was seen practically as the creator of the style, whose greatest commercial success was “Miserlou,” immortalized in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction.

Hear the song below:

Life and Career

Richard Anthony Monsour (May 4, 1937 – March 16, 2019), better known by his stage name Dick Dale, was an American rock guitarist, known as The King of the Surf Guitar. He pioneered and created what many call the surf music style, drawing on Middle-Eastern music scales and experimenting with reverberation. He worked closely with Fender to produce custom made amplifiers, including the first-ever 100-watt guitar amplifier.

He pushed the limits of electric amplification technology, helping to develop new equipment that was capable of producing distorted, “thick, clearly defined tones” at “previously undreamed-of volumes.” The “breakneck speed of his single-note staccato picking technique” and showmanship with the guitar is considered a precursor to heavy metal music, influencing guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen.

Dale was married at least twice. In the early 1970s, his wife Jeannie Monsour was a Las Vegas dancer who worked in a revue with Dale. Their son James was 20 years old in 2012, Dale said that same year he had not spoken to Jeannie in over a decade and rarely saw James. As of 2015, his wife Lana was his manager.

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I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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