Dick Dale, a groundbreaking '60s musician known as the "King of the Surf Guitar," who later experienced resurgent success with his signature song's presence in an iconic Quentin Tarantino flick, has died. He was 81.
Dale's live bassist, Sam Bolle, confirmed the news to The Guardian, saying that the guitarist passed away on Saturday night. No cause of death was disclosed.
The musician shot to fame with his signature surf rock sound, marked by reverb-heavy staccato guitar riffs influenced by traditional Middle Eastern music. His biggest hit was 1961's "Let's Go Trippin'," but Dale is perhaps best known for the 1962 track "Misirlou."
That latter song served as the soundtrack to the opening credits scene of Tarantino's 1994 classic "Pulp Fiction," setting the groovy vibe for the film that followed. The song's usage sparked a renewed interest in Dale's career, with the musician recording several new albums and continuing to tour up until his death.
Dale himself also appeared in several films over the years, popping up as a musician or playing himself in flicks such as "A Swingin' Affair," "Muscle Beach Party," and "Back to the Beach."
Dale is survived by his wife, Lana, who also served as his manager; and his son, James, who toured with him as a drummer.
[via: Variety, The Guardian]