Godfather of surf guitar, Dick Dale has passed away at the age of 81 yesterday. The cause of death is not yet known.

Queen guitarist Brian May has shared an emotional statement after Dick Dale’s death on Instagram. He wrote:

“RIP Dick Dale – Father of the Surf Guitar. We all owe you. Rock on. 💥💥💥

Look how his guitar is strung ! He’s left handed, but plays essentially a right handed guitar – except for the controls and ‘horns’.

So his heavy bass-end strings are at the lower edge of the fretboard. This means his fingers could never fall in the same shapes as the rest of us. Maybe this led him to use those low notes more often and more forcefully than everyone around him.

But his highly distinctive sound comes from his very fast up-and down action in the picking hand (sometimes confusingly referred to as ‘tremolo’, in reference to the similar-sounding traditional Flamenco Spanish guitar technique, which is actually done in a very different way, with multiple fingernails).

And a lot of echo effect. And thick strings. And a lot of energy !!! Check out his early hit ‘Miserlou’. Wild !!! I wish I’d met him. But truly we all benefit from his trailblazing.”

You can see Brian’s Instagram post below.

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RIP Dick Dale – Father of the Surf Guitar. We all owe you. Rock on. 💥💥💥 Look how his guitar is strung ! He’s left handed, but plays essentially a right handed guitar – except for the controls and ‘horns’. So his heavy bass-end strings are at the lower edge of the fretboard. This means his fingers could never fall in the same shapes as the rest of us. Maybe this led him to use those low notes more often and more forcefully than everyone around him. But his highly distinctive sound comes from his very fast up-and down action in the picking hand (sometimes confusingly referred to as ‘tremolo’, in reference to the similar-sounding traditional Flamenco Spanish guitar technique, which is actually done in a very different way, with multiple fingernails). And a lot of echo effect. And thick strings. And a lot of energy !!! Check out his early hit ‘Miserlou’. Wild !!! I wish I’d met him. But truly we all benefit from his trailblazing. Bri

A post shared by Brian Harold May (@brianmayforreal) on

 

Dick Dale was the creator of the song called “Misirlou”. That piece was featured over the opening credits to Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction.