King of Surf Guitar Dies at 81

Dick Dale pioneered sound in the ’50s
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 18, 2019 2:01 AM CDT

(NEWSER) – Dick Dale, whose pounding, blaringly loud power-chord instrumentals on songs like “Miserlou” and “Let’s Go Trippin’” earned him the title King of the Surf Guitar, has died at age 81. His former bassist Sam Bolle says Dale passed away Saturday night. No other details were available. Dale liked to say it was he and not the Beach Boys who invented surf music—and some critics have said he was right, the AP reports. An avid surfer, Dale started building a devoted Los Angeles fan base in the late 1950s with repeated appearances at Newport Beach’s old Rendezvous Ballroom. He played “Miserlou,” ”The Wedge,” ”Night Rider,” and other compositions at wall-rattling volume on a custom-made Fender Stratocaster guitar.