Dick Dale

(Richard Anthony Monsour)

Dick Dale
Dick Dale
  • Born: May 4, 1937
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Musician, Guitarist









Richard Anthony Monsour, better known by his stage name Dick Dale, is an American rock guitarist, known as The King of the Surf Guitar. He pioneered and created what many call the surf music style, drawing on Middle-Eastern music scales and experimenting with reverberation. He worked closely with Fender to produce custom made amplifiers, including the first-ever 100-watt guitar amplifier. He pushed the limits of electric amplification technology, helping to develop new equipment that was capable of producing distorted, "thick, clearly defined tones" at "previously undreamed-of volumes." The "breakneck speed of his single-note staccato picking technique" and showmanship with the guitar is considered a precursor to heavy metal music, influencing guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen.

Quotes About
Author Quote
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As a little kid I had a girlfriend, and her boyfriend used to beat me up, so then I used to sing these songs, and that's what it's all about. Country music is all about your heart and your people and things like that. Music, Chants & Rapps
As I'd go out learning to surf, I'd feel the power of waves coming over my body. It's like you're with God. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Power ;Religion & God
Buddy Rich was one of the most incredible technicians in the world, on this planet, but the only people he could really impress, who knew what he was doing was another musician or another drummer.
Dick Dale don't surf no more.
Drums were my first instrument.
Earthlings are confused, insecure. And some Earthlings have no heritage: that's what leads them to kill each other and rob 7-11 stores.
Every song is like a painting. Music, Chants & Rapps
Every time I do an album, I say, 'That's the last one.' Time
Every time I went into the studio some engineer tried to impress me with how they're going to capture my sound with all kinds of tricks. But they limited the sound and never allowed me to play how I felt. Time
For 20 years I've been screaming at these guitar companies, saying, 'It's abnormal to put your arm around an acoustic guitar that is about 6 to 8 inches deep.' Your arm reaches over, and you start to strum, and then all of a sudden you get a charley horse in your back. The older you get, the greater the charley horse.
Gene Krupa was my big hero, and I used to play on my mother's flour cans and sugar cans with the kitchen knives, listening to the big bands on my dad's records. Gene Krupa and Harry James. Families, Children & Parenting
Guitar Player Magazine says Dick Dale is the father of Heavy Metal, blowing up 48 amplifiers, creating the first power amplifier. Power
Hendrix was the bass player for Little Richard. We were both left-handed, but we would use a right-handed guitar held upside down and backwards. He developed my slides and my riffs. In fact he used to say, and this is documented, 'I patterned my style after Dick Dale.'
I actually first picked up an ukulele before I picked up a guitar.
I almost had to have my leg amputated because of an infection.
I always felt people should live with animals.
I always wanted a guitar. I always wanted to be a cowboy singer because I also listened to Hank Williams, and he would always sing these neat romantic songs. Romantic
I answer number one to myself, because I know myself. I answer to my fans, because they know me. My mother knows me and God knows me, and that's where it's at. Religion & God
I became stereotyped.
I blew amps like they were made of tissue paper. Once I blew out the sound system at Royal Albert Hall in London.
I called it Rockabilly 'cause I was rocking the strums, which you're not supposed to do.
I can play every instrument there is, every horn, I've played all the saxes and trumpets and everything and keyboards.
I do not play to musicians. I play to the people.
I don't claim to be a musician, I didn't go to Julliard.
I don't like to use the word 'fans;' I call them 'Dick Dale music lovers.' Music, Chants & Rapps
I don't live with the 'right' people. I don't want to. I don't want to live with the rich in Beverly Hills or walk the streets of Hollywood. I want to go to K-mart and get good deals.
I don't play pyrotechnic scales. I play about frustration, patience, anger. Music is an extension of my soul. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Patience
I enjoy living like a hermit, but I cannot live like a hermit.
I grew a love for helpless, defenseless things. People would give me lions and jaguars. I had cheetahs, monkeys. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I have all the rhythm in my left hand, and I use the rhythms that Gene Krupa did on his drums.
I know what it's like to wash my clothes in a Chevron station.
I learned everything by ear and played all the different instruments. So then I was able to find a guitar. That was, like, in the seventh grade. And then I didn't know how to put my fingers on all the different strings, so I had to figure out how to do it upside down and backwards, and I still play that way today.
I like to say, 'I hit every type of music in a show, and I play the people, not the instruments.' Music, Chants & Rapps
I live like in the days of Daniel Boone, hauling water by hand. I used to have two Rolls-Royces. Now I got one. It's got four flat tires; the trunk is open, and a rat lives inside it.
I make jokes because humor is the greatest healing factor that there is. Humor
I make my guitar scream with pain or pleasure or sensuality. It makes people move their feet and shake their bodies. That's what music does. Music, Chants & Rapps
I may play the same songs night to night, but I never play them the same way.
I met Leo Fender, who is the guru of all amplifiers, and he gave me a Stratocaster. He became a second father to me.
I refuse to bring my son up in a world corrupt as it is now.
I smashed my tailbone and couldn't sit for five years, and I broke my clavicle because I thought I was a great surfer, and of course, I could be a great snowboarder, too. Man, was I wiped out!
I surfed Dana Point, San Clemente, and of course Huntington Beach. Every morning, you could find me at the hot water pipe. Morning
I thought of Gene Krupa's drumming, his staccato drumming. I went and put 'Misirlou' to that rhythm.
I told them if were going to do it were going to do it right, I'm not leaving 'til it's done. My wife, child and I slept in the studio. We cut these raw.
I try to read the audience, see what they're in the mood for.
I used to be a mean maniac. Someone once threw a firecracker at a show and I jumped off the side of the stage and whacked 'em on the side of the head.
I used to surf up in Ventura County at Silver Strand; plus, I've played up there many times.
I wanted to put a sheet in explaining what all the songs are about, but they didn't do it.
I was reading a magazine when I was a little kid, probably about twelve years old, and an ad said that if you sell so many jars of Noxzema skin cream, we'll sell you a ukulele. So I went out and banged on doors in the snow in Quincy, Massachusetts, where I was raised, and I sold the skin cream.
I'd rather be a Jack-of-all-trades than master of one. If I became an icon, where my whole life was music, I would probably have become a vegetable. I wouldn't be able to have all these talents I have today and be an interesting 'character.' Life ;Music, Chants & Rapps
If I ever wrote a book, people would never believe it.
If you ask me what I'd rather be doing, well, I'd rather be home in California, watching TV, polishing my tools and working around the ranch.
I'll just tell you the way it is. You ask me what time it is and I'm gonna tell you how to build a clock. Time
I'm a perfectionist. I'm not going to cheat the people.
I'm constantly being influenced by the soul that's directly in front of me.
I'm dedicated to touring the rest of my life. Life
I'm going to make people happy. I'm going to make them forget about their cancer. I'm going to make them forget about their diabetes.
I'm not one of these guys who is dedicated to playing or performing - that's just one facet of my life. Life
In the Shao Lin temple, they never allow you to touch the skin of a drum until you can tongue what you're going to play.
I've been called 'the father of loud.'
I've been performing since 1955. I'm going to have to keep performing till I die because I'm not going to die in some rocking chair with a big ol' beer belly.
I've got holes in my guitar.
I've never followed a list in my life, and that's probably what has created so much nervous energy in my body. Life
I've never taken a lesson in my life, and I can play every instrument there is. I play by ear, but I can fool anybody into thinking I went to some conservatory of music. Life ;Music, Chants & Rapps
Jimi was a good guy 'til he got into drugs. That's the way it is. I just tell it like it is.
Kids don't see me as an oldies person when I go out on stage. They see me as an energy force.
Little Richard, he'd say, 'Oh Dick Dale! You have luscious lips!'
Music is nothing but a door opener to meet families and their children and the elderly. Music, Chants & Rapps
My aunt played the piano and I used to sit and listen to it.
My father never put me on his lap and said he loved me.
My mind never left 20, because once it does, that's when you start to die.
My music is more native than intricate or technical. Music, Chants & Rapps
My philosophy is that on a scale of 1 to 10, I will go to 15. No matter what!
My philosophy is the thicker the wood the thicker the sound, the bigger the string the bigger the sound. My smallest string is a 14 gauge.
My son now is 22 months old, he's been playing since he was 12 months old and he gets standing ovations on the drums. He's been with us since he was 10 weeks old, he's been on the drums. He's got blisters on his fingers before he can even talk.
My uncle gave me a trumpet, but I loved the Louis Armstrong sound and the Harry James sound and I played by ear and I played always soulful or very direct from the gut.
Nothing could capture the sound of Dick Dale - he was too loud.
People ask about love. Real love. I was never in love; the people around me didn't love me. They were just along for the ride. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
People just loved the sound because I kept it simple.
People who have witnessed all the years of me playing, they bring their kids and say, 'I used to see this guy when I was fourteen!'
Some guys record an album with songs that are filler. I recorded this album like it was my last.
Springsteen - he's the Lord God. Religion & God
Surf music is actually just the sound of the waves played on a guitar: that wet, splashy sound. Music, Chants & Rapps
Surf music is played through a Showman amp with a Stratocaster guitar. Music, Chants & Rapps
Surfers were the ones who named all my songs. They'd yell out the names, and we just kept 'em.
That's what my music does for me. It makes people happy. When I play, I thank the Lord I've never seen someone walk away from a Dick Dale dance not having a good time. That's what it's all about. Time ;Music, Chants & Rapps
The kids called me King of the Surf Guitar. I surfed sunup to sundown.
The Musicians Hall of Fame is chosen by thousands of your peers. So it's the real thing.
The Stratocaster is like the Rolls-Royce. It can never be surpassed.
The ultimate guitar players can play every scale in the book.
There's a saying. If you want someone to love you forever, buy a dog, feed it and keep it around. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
They're putting cement dust into cattle feed to make the cows heavier; the FDA knows all about it.
What I play now isn't surf music. It's too powerful. I used to go through paper bags; now I go through brick walls. I play hard. Music, Chants & Rapps
What we perceive things to be when they come out of our mouth is not what the listener perceives it to be. They think it differently. They're not your blood. They're not your mind. You get in an argument.
Whatever you do, don't take shortcuts. It's great advice to take and live by.
When I come onstage, I'm exploding.
When I first played the guitar without plugging it into an amplifier, the people at Fender were blown away. They couldn't believe the sound. I said, 'See, gentlemen, the world is no longer flat.'
When I play, I don't cheat. I played for 490,000 in Berlin, and I'll play just as hard for 100.
When I played with Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings in Vegas, the guys used to go, 'Dick, cut it out, man! You're moving around too much on this stage. You're making us look bad!'
When I start playing I'm just a rollercoaster of sound. I don't know what's coming next, I never do, and I sit and sign and talk to the people afterwards.
When I started surfing, you'd hear this neat rumbling sound when you took off and go for the drop, and when the wave is lipping up over the top of you, it makes this hissing sound.
When I was 18 at the Santa Ana River Jetty is where I put my first board in the water that I ever got from Joe Quigg. I was just riding the whitewater in, and I was just in heaven.
When my guitar was growling, playing surf beat, you could hear it; you could feel it.
With every problem comes a gift in hand.
You can't eat fish. It's 6,000 parts DDT per million all over the world, not counting radiation.
You know what the doctors call me? 'The Cancer Warrior.'
You know, music is sex. It's a sensual driving mode that affects people if it's played a certain way. Music, Chants & Rapps
You shouldn't even be writing this story if you haven't heard me play live. You can't write with the passion you receive until you see a Dick Dale concert.