Posts Tagged ‘Surf Music’


… With your majestic and superior cackling hen 
Your people I do not understand, 
So to you I shall put an end 
And you’ll never hear surf music again

–Jimi Hendrix, Third Rock From the Sun


It’s said that that the final line from the spoken word section of Jimi Hendrix’s Third Rock From the Sun in 1967 was a response to hearing that Dick Dale, the King of Surf Guitar, was gravely ill with colon cancer. Well, Dick Dale got past that dangerous episode and continued his reign for another 50+ years, passing away yesterday at the age of 81.

His background hardly pointed to his rise as the King of Surf Guitar. Born in Boston, Dale (the name he adopted for the stage– his real name was Monsour) was of Lebanese descent and was raised playing Middle Eastern instruments which provided the basis for his style of playing. You can really hear it in his most popular song, Misirlou. It was revived with its prominence in the film Pulp Fiction.

Dale had a great run promoting himself as the King of Surf Guitar through the years, even as surf music faded into a its niche as a nostalgic reminder of its popularity in the early 1960’s. But Misirlou had staying power beyond nostalgia. It’s just good stuff that can still get people on their feet.

So, here’s to you Dick Dale. Your music will live on. Here’s a performance of Misirlou from Dick Dale in 1995.


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The+Ventures+-+Surfing+-+1963Well, it’s Saturday and we could all use a break, maybe dream of catching a big breaker and hanging ten.  Okay, it’s all in my head.  But I do have fond memories of how much grab there was in those instrumental surf classics from the 60’s.  When it came on, you couldn’t help but listen.

We had a copy of the Surfaris’ single , Wipeout , that had the kitschy Surfer Joe on the flipside.  I must’ve heard both sides of that single a thousand times, if not more.  Every listen was like a sonic sugar rush and I still smile when I hear either song.

For this Saturday, I am showing a version of Wipeout from the seminal instrumental surf band, the Ventures.  It’s a really high quality version from a film when they toured Japan in the 60’s.

Enjoy and may all your waves be true…

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fausts-guitarWell, we’re finally out of 2008 and hopefully it will recede calmly in our rearview mirror and not re-emerge, Terminator-style, to hunt us down.

Put the pedal to the metal and let’s get into 2009.

I thought on this first day of a new year we could use a little lightness.  Maybe a goofy juxtaposition.  How about some more surf music, the venerable Pipeline by the Chantays ?   Here they are, of all places, on the Lawrence Welk Show.  Check out the choreography and ride the pipeline into ’09.

Yee haa…

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