Dick DaleDick Dale (born May 4, 1937) was one of the pioneers in surf rock, one of the most influential musicians of the early 1960s. His guitar playing techniques influenced future guitarists as varied as Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen. He was born in Boston, and soon learned to play the drums, ukulele and finally, guitar. In 1954, he moved to southern California and began performing. He also began surfing, and soon began developing the sound that eventually became surf rock.
With the Del-Tones, Dale's live performances became huge local draws. 1961's "Let's Go Trippin'" is widely regarded as the first surf rock song (see 1961 in music). This was followed by more locally-released songs, including "Jungle Fever" and "Surf Beat". His first full-length album was Surfer's Choice (1962 in music). The album was picked up by Capitol Records and distributed nationally, and Dale soon began appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show and in films. His second album was King of the Surf Guitar.
Though surf rock became the national sound briefly, the British Invasion began ruining Dale and others' career in 1964. Though he continued performing live, Dale was soon set back by rectal cancer. He recovered, though, and retired from music for a time. In 1979, he almost lost a leg after being injured while swimming; a pollution-related infection made the mild injury much worse. As a result, Dale became an environmental activist andsoon began performing again throughout the 1970s and 1980s. He tried to launch a comeback in 1986 (see 1986 in music) and was nominated for a Grammy, and "Miserlou"'s use in a Quentin Tarantino film, Pulp Fiction, effectively launched a comeback within a small but devoted audience. He has released several albums since.