Dick Dale

Born 4 May 1937.
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The Birth of Surf - the origins of surf music

Mark Radcliffe and author Kent Crowley look at the origins and impact of surf music.

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Biography

Dick Dale (born Richard Anthony Monsour on May 4, 1937) is an American surf rock guitarist, known as The King of the Surf Guitar. He pioneered the surf music style, drawing on Eastern musical 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" as well as his showmanship with the guitar is considered a precursor to heavy metal music, influencing guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen.

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