Remembering Dick Dale: Get Soaked With These 7 Surf-Rock Classics

Dick Dale

Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images


Remembering Dick Dale: Get Soaked With These 7 Surf-Rock Classics

Get a closer listen to how the King Of Surf Rock built a guitar sound and style that influenced everyone from the Beach Boys to Jimi Hendrix to the Ramones

GRAMMYs/Mar 19, 2019 - 04:44 am

Electric guitar pioneer Dick Dale died on March 16 at the age of 81, leaving behind a reverberant trail of musical and sonic influence stretching from The Ventures to modern garage surf and beyond. Since the 1950s, Dale has wielded his left-handed reverse-strung Fender Stratocaster and treated fans to his signature guitar sound, distinctive for its relentless rhythm, shimmering reverb and sheer volume, earning him the crown as "The King Of Surf Rock."

From introducing the world to the sound of surf rock with his band the Del-Tones to reaching a new generations to follow with film and even video game reboots of his classics, Dale's influence has touched an impressive list of legends including the Beach Boys, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Ramones, The Cramps, Los Straightjackets, and many more.

As the music world mourns the loss of one of the most game-changing talents to ever pick up a guitar, here's a look at seven surf rock explosions that reveal Dale at his boldest.


"Miserlou" is an obvious to start an examination of Dale's brazen and unique sound. In 1962, the frantic tremolo picking of his adaptation of this Middle Eastern instrumental folk tune (spelled "Misirlou" and translating to "Egyptian Girl") established Dale as a singular artist with a sound all his own while rock 'n' roll was still searching for its footing. The song's iconic guitar line is also instantly recognizable to younger listeners thanks in large part to its use in the opening credits of Quentin Tarantino's 1994 classic film Pulp Fiction. "Miserlou" was also sampled by Black Eyed Peas on their 2006 "Pump It" and challenged video gamers in "Guitar Hero," more indicators of the endless reach of Dale's sound and fury.

"Let's Go Trippin'"

Dale's highest charting hit, 1961's "Let's Go Trippin,'" is arguably the song that started it all, becoming the first surf-rock hit landing at No. 60 on the Billboard Hot 100. Its release in 1961 preceded the Beach Boys' first surf song, "Surfin,'" but the Boys would tip their sailor caps to Dale two years later by coving "Let's Go Trippin'" on their 1963 album Surfin' USA.

"The Scavenger"

Along with "Let's Go Trippin,'" 1963's "The Scavenger" was one of just two songs Dale ever landed on the charts, ducking into the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 98. "The Scavenger" was the lead-off track from Dale's third album, Checkered Flag, which explored hot-rod automobile themes made popular by the Beach Boys and even included sounds of engines revving and lyrics about street racing.


A match made in guitar heaven, Dale teamed up with another incomparable guitar legend, the late Stevie Ray Vaughn, for 1987's "Pipeline," placing the two unmistakable styles side-by-side for an historic and electrified blues/surf mashup. For their efforts, the duo were nominated for Best Rock Instrumental Performance (Orchestra Group Or Soloist) at the 30th GRAMMY Awards. The song was featured in the movie Back To The Beach, which Dale and Vaughn also appeared in, performing the song.  

"Hava Nagila"

A standout track on his 1963 sophomore album and first on Capitol Records, aptly titled King Of The Surf Guitar, "Hava Nagila" is Dale's take on the traditional Israeli folk song of rejoice. The album featured contributions from the likes of Glen Campbell, Leon Russell and Hal Blaine. Dale's treatment of this traditional tune with his frenzied picking seemed like a natural fit, much like his arrangement of "Miserlou."

READ MORE: 30 Songs That Use Hal Blaine's Iconic "Be My Baby" Beat

"Peter Gunn"

Dale's 1965 surfed-out rendition of Henry Mancini's TV theme clearly illustrates his sonic stamp by placing his angular playing on top of one of the most recognizable melodies in instrumental music. Mancini's original The Music From Peter Gunn won Album Of The Year at the first-ever GRAMMY Awards in May of 1959. But in Dale's version you can hear where guitar slingers such as Los Straitjackets and cymbal riders like The Cramps drew aesthetic inspiration.


By 1993, Dale's influence had permeated widely into the worlds of ska, rock and punk, and on the first track off Tribal Thunder, he leaned into to a more modern sound, etching his signature tone and licks into a wall of solid rock drums. While Dale is far better known for his early recordings, "Nitro" is a daring reminder of the ferocity and endurance that fueled Dale's endless touring and refusal to mellow with age. The song even received a name-check from Jack White in a tribute post following Dale's death. “I spent many moments learning his massive reverbed guitar licks in my bedroom, and still enjoy playing his song ‘Nitro’ whenever I can,” White wrote.

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Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam

Photo: Kevin Mazur/


Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it

GRAMMYs/Feb 13, 2019 - 04:05 am

Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.

McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award

The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.

"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."

With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.

Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.

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Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Glenn Danzig

Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images


Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Dark punk legends to play first show with Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only since last year's Riot Fest reunion

GRAMMYs/Aug 22, 2017 - 05:28 am

There's big news today for punk-rock fans aware that the Misfits made much more than just T-shirts.

The massively influential punk band announced a special show touted as the "only 2017 performance in this world… or any world" and billed as "The Original Misfits" in Los Angeles at the Forum on Dec. 30.

This will be the first Misfits show featuring original singer Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only with long-time guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein since the band reunited for a pair of Riot Fest appearances in Chicago and Denver in 2016. Last year's Riot Fest gigs, which featured drummer Dave Lombardo, marked the first time in 33 years the original Misfits members played together.

"OK Los Angeles, you've waited almost 35 years for this, here's your chance to see the "Original Misfits" in this Exclusive L.A. only performance." said Glenn Danzig. "No Tour, No BS, just one night of dark metal-punk hardcore brutality that will go down in the history books. See you there."

Tickets for this "one night only" show go on sale Friday, August 25.

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Lady Gaga Steps In To Support Youth Impacted By Hurricanes

Lady Gaga

Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images


Lady Gaga Steps In To Support Youth Impacted By Hurricanes

GRAMMY winner pledges support for those impacted by hurricanes this year through Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program

GRAMMYs/Oct 12, 2017 - 11:03 pm

On Oct. 10 Lady Gaga announced she is devoting her $1 million donation in support of those impacted by the recent hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico and the earthquakes in Mexico, to a specific cause — the mental and emotional well being of children and youth.

Gaga announced on her Born This Way Foundation website she will support Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program, which uses a variety of tools to help young people deal with trauma in the wake of natural disasters.

"Through a curriculum that includes cooperative play, discussion, art, meditation, and mindfulness practices, young people learn to recognize and understand their emotions and develop healthy coping skills," Gaga wrote. "Tens of thousands of youth have benefited from the program since it’s development in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Save the Children is working to bring it to hundreds of thousands more in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico."

The announcement came on World Mental Health Day, and the Fame Monster has invited all of us to step up and consider making a contribution to the Journey of Hope program to support to mental and emotional needs of children.

"Mental health is just as vital to our wellbeing as physical health. That’s true for each of us, everyday, but it’s especially important for those coping with disaster and recovering from trauma," wrote Lady Gaga. "We must do everything within our power to support the full, vibrant recovery of these communities, from meeting their immediate needs to helping them to rebuild sustainably."

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Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards


Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards

Dreamville, Meek Mill, 21 Savage, Tyler, The Creator, and YBN Cordae all earn nominations in the category

GRAMMYs/Nov 20, 2019 - 06:28 pm

The 2020 GRAMMYs are just around the corner, and now the nominations are in for the coveted honor of Best Rap Album. While we'll have to wait until the 62nd GRAMMY Awards air on CBS on Jan. 26 to find out who will win, let's take a look at which albums have been nominated for Best Rap Album.

Revenge of the Dreamers III – Dreamville                                                                        

This star-studded compilation album from 11-time GRAMMY nominee J. Cole and his Dreamville Records imprint features appearances from some of the leading and fastest-rising artists in hip-hop today, including label artists EARTHGANG, J.I.D, and Ari Lennox, plus rappers T.I, DaBaby, and Young Nudy, among many others. Recorded in Atlanta across a 10-day recording session, Revenge of the Dreamers III is an ambitious project that saw more than 300 artists and producers contribute to the album, resulting in 142 recorded tracks. Of those recordings, 18 songs made the final album, which ultimately featured contributions from 34 artists and 27 producers.

Dreamers III, the third installment in the label’s Revenge of the Dreamers compilation series, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and achieved gold status this past July. In addition to a Best Rap Album nod, Dreamers III is also nominated for Best Rap Performance next year for album track “Down Bad,” featuring J.I.D, Bas, J. Cole, EARTHGANG, and Young Nudy.

Championships – Meek Mill

In many ways, Championships represents a literal and metaphorical homecoming for Meek Mill. Released in November 2018, Championships is the Philadelphia rapper’s first artist album following a two-year prison sentence he served after violating his parole in 2017. Championships, naturally, sees Meek tackling social justice issues stemming from his prison experience, including criminal justice reform. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, his second chart-topper following 2015’s Dreams Worth More Than Money, and reached platinum status in June 2019. Meek Mill's 2020 Best Rap Album nod marks his first-ever GRAMMY nomination.

i am > i was – 21 Savage

Breakout rapper and four-time GRAMMY nominee 21 Savage dropped i am > i was, his second solo artist album, at the end of 2018. The guest-heavy album, which features contributions from Post Malone, Childish Gambino, J. Cole, and many others, has since charted around the world, topped the Billboard 200 – a first for the artist – in the beginning of 2019, and achieved gold status in the U.S. As well, nine songs out of the album’s 15 original tracks landed on the Hot 100 chart, including multi-platinum lead single “A Lot,” which is also nominated for Best Rap Song next year. 21 Savage’s 2020 Best Rap Album nomination, which follows Record of the Year and Best Rap/Sung Performance nods for his 2017 Post Malone collaboration, "Rockstar,” marks his first solo recognition in the top rap category.

IGOR – Tyler, The Creator

The eccentric Tyler, The Creator kicked off a massive 2019 with his mid-year album, IGOR. Released this past May, IGOR, Tyler’s fifth solo artist album, is his most commercially successful project to date. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, marking his first time topping the coveted chart, while its lead single, "Earfquake,” peaked at No. 13, his highest entry on the Hot 100. Produced in full by Tyler and featuring guest spots from fellow rap and R&B stars Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert, Solange, and Playboi Carti, among many others, IGOR follows the rapper’s 2017 album, Flower Boy, which received the Best Rap Album nod that same year.

The Lost Boy – YBN Cordae

Emerging rapper YBN Cordae, a member of the breakout YBN rap collective, released his debut album, The Lost Boy, to widespread critical acclaim this past July. The 15-track release is stacked with major collaborations with hip-hop heavyweights, including Anderson .Paak, Pusha T, Meek Mill, and others, plus production work from J. Cole and vocals from Quincy Jones. After peaking at No. 13 on the Billboard 200, The Lost Boy now notches two 2020 GRAMMY nominations: Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song for album track “Bad Idea,” featuring Chance the Rapper.