June 13 [16:00 EDT] -- Just in time for summer driving, a two-disc compilation called "Better Shred Than Dead" chronicling the career of surf guitar inventor Dick Dale is waiting in stores.
Dale, who's influenced just about every guitarist who plugged into a reverb unit, developed a deep twang and machine gun double-picking style that constitutes a genre all its own. The birth and development of Dale's work (which was by no means limited to "Misirlou" on the "Pulp Fiction" soundtrack) is captured on this admirable Rhino Records release.
In the PBS documentary "Rock & Roll," Dale explained the inspiration behind his signature sound.
"When I would play on the guitar," Dale said, "I would get the sound like my African lions when they would turn around and roar at 5:30 in the evening, and their roar matched the roar of the wave." [800k QuickTime]
Dale turned 60 recently, and while
he doesn't surf anymore (he says the water's too dirty these days), he's still cranking out his surf-beat classics on the road. Dale plays the Shoreline Amphitheater near San Francisco Friday with Foo Fighters.