Saturday, April 5, 2008

Dick Dale in Hospital

Everyone wish master surf guitarist Dick Dale the best of luck as he is currently in the hospital for cancer surgery. Dale has inspired many people with his music, from surfers to punks and many genres in-between. He helped define the surf rock sound, and his high speed, aggressive guitar work definitely helped lay the groundwork for both metal and punk (you can especially hear it in punk where, unlike metal and hardcore, there is enough treble presence that the surf influence is really up-front).

One time I saw Dale play was at a SIGGRAPH in Orlando, FL (I'm pretty sure it was in 1994, at a Bruce & Carmi party at Disney-MGM studios theme park). That concert, at which I was in the front row of a small audience, was one of the best musical experiences of my life -- I still regularly tell people about it even now, 14 years later. I was impressed that even for a small audience, he gave so much and put so much energy into the performance. Whenever I feel like slacking off on something, thinking about how seriously Dale took that small, private party concert is one thing that helps motivate me. He was also genial, pausing after the show to allow us to thank him for a great show, and to give us guitar picks and set lists.

So here's hoping that the King of Surf Guitar has an uneventful surgery and a quick, complete recovery and is back in action before too long.