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No guitarist has made a bigger contribution to the sound and folklore of surf guitar music than The King Of The Surf Guitar - the mighty Mr Dick Dale!
There’s nothing ordinary about Dale. He plays a left-handed Fender Stratocaster, strung the ‘wrong way’ around with heavy ass strings - .016, .018, .020, .038, .048 and .058 - at the kind of volume that could knock an elephant on its side.
Dick can be arrogant and refers to himself in the third person (your author has heard him do it!) but he just knows how great he is. Let’s face it, surf guitar could never have happened without him.
Jimi Hendrix allegedly once boasted that he’d killed surf music but it was doomed as soon as The Beatles hit the US in 1964. Surf mutated in garage rock and America’s greatest band, The Beach Boys, moved with the times and released records that challenged The Beatles every step of the way. But the current global surf scene is testament to the fact that the music didn’t die… it was just hibernating.