Today's mystery artist is of Lebanese, Polish and Belarusian descent. His father was born in Beirut, and his mother's parents came to the U.S. from Poland; they farmed in Whitman, Massachusetts. He learned to play music, starting with piano when he was nine he admired Hank Williams, and wanted to be a cowboy singer—so he bought a plastic ukelele for $6 and taught himself to play by reading an instruction book. He then learned to play guitar, using a combination style incorporating both lead and rhythm aspects, so that the guitar filled the place of drums.
His machinist father obtained a job in the Southern California aerospace industry. His parents drove the family across the country to live in El Segundo, California. Dale spent his senior year at and graduated from Washington Senior High School. It was in Southern California that he learned to surf at the age of 17. He soon learned to play the drums and the trumpet. Due to his Lebanese heritage, he also had a strong interest in Arabic music, which would later play a major role in his development of surf rock music.
Hiis uncle taught him how to play the tarabaki, as he watched him play the oud. His early tarabaki drumming would later have a major influence on his guitar playing, particularly his rapid alternating picking technique. According to our man, “It’s the pulsation,” stating that whether he is playing the guitar, trumpet, or piano, “they all have that drumming beat I learned by playing the tarabaki. Today's mystery artist is often credited as one of the first electric guitarists to employ fast scales in his playing. He himself was a surfer and wanted his music to reflect the sounds he heard in his mind while surfing. While he is primarily known for introducing the use of guitar reverb that would give the guitar a "wet" sound, which has since become a staple of surf music, it was his staccato picking that was his trademark. Since our man is left-handed, he was initially forced to play a right-handed model but then went to a left handed model. However, he did so without restringing the guitar, leading him to effectively play the guitar upside-down...
His desire to create a certain sound led him to push the limits of equipment. Leo Fender kept giving him amps and he kept blowing them up! Until they went to James B. Lansing loudspeaker company and explained that they wanted a fifteen inch loudspeaker built to their specifications. The unit became famous as the 15" JBL D130F model. It made the complete package for our man to play through and was named the Single Showman Amp. When he plugged his Fender Stratocaster guitar into the new Showman Amp and loudspeaker cabinet, he became the first person on earth to jump from the volume scale of a modest quiet guitar player (on a scale of 4) to blasting up through the volume scale to TEN! That is when our mystery man became the "Father of Heavy Metal" as quoted from Guitar Player magazine. He broke through the electronic barrier limitations of that era!
Surf rock's national popularity was somewhat brief, as the British Invasion began to overtake the American charts in 1964. Though he continued performing live, Dale was soon set back by rectal cancer. Though he recovered, he retired from music for several years. In 1979, he almost lost a leg after being injured while swimming and a pollution-related infection made the mild injury much worse. As a result, our man became an environmental activist and soon began performing again. He recorded a new album in 1986 and was nominated for a Grammy. In 1987 he appeared in the movie Back to the Beach, playing surf music and performing "Pipeline" with Stevie Ray Vaughan. In 1993 he recorded a guitar solo on the track "Should Have Known" by Southern California indie band The Pagodas which was released as a vinyl single. The use of "Misirlou" in the 1994 Quentin Tarantino film Pulp Fiction gained him a new audience. "Miserlou" became synonymous with Pulp Fiction's ultra-hip sense of style, and was soon licensed in countless commercials (as were several other Dale tracks). As a result, Tribal Thunder and its 1994 follow-up Unknown Territory attracted lots of attention, earning positive reviews and surprisingly strong sales. In 1996, he supported the Beggars Banquet album Calling Up Spirits by joining the normally punk- and ska-oriented Warped Tour. Adding his wife and young drum-playing son to his band, our man refocused on touring over the next few years. He finally returned with a new CD in 2001, Spacial Disorientation, issued on the small Sin-Drome label. In 2009, he was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, TN . Our man continues to perform at venues across the U.S. into 2014 (age 77).
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Today's mystery album is the definitive compilation of the father of surf-rock, containing 18 of his best-known songs, including all of his biggest hits ("Miserlou," "Let's Go Trippin'"), all presented in their original versions and in excellent audio. In addition to showcasing the roots of surf, today's mystery album demonstrates what a skilled and eclectic guitarist our mystery artist was. He was one of the first guitarists in rock & roll to rely on studio and guitar effects and fuse elements of world musics to his sound, and every one of his experiments is captured on this disc. It's a definitive retrospective, and it's all up for grabs here..N'Joy
Goldy Rhox 193 (flac 248mb)
Goldy Rhox 193 (ogg 97mb)
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