Dick Dale and the Birth of Surf Rock

Dick Dale is the man known as "the King of the Surf Guitar." He launched surf rock in 1960 with his band, the Deltones. Four of Dale's early albums are being re-released by Sundazed Music: King of the Surf Guitar, Checkered Flag, Mr. Eliminator and Summer Surf.

He described the surf sound in a 1963 article as "a heavy staccato sound on the lowkey guitar strings, with a heavy throbbing beat — like thunder, or waves breaking over you." It's also played loud and with plenty of reverb.

Dale defined the California sound, and influenced Jan and Dean, The Ventures and The Beachboys. He also influenced later groups like Sonic Youth.

This interview was originally broadcast on July 26, 1993.

Purchase Featured Music

King of the Surf Guitar

by Dick Dale

Checkered Flag

by Dick Dale

Mr. Eliminator

by Dick Dale

Summer Surf

by Dick Dale



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