Live Video: Dick Dale

photo by Jim Bennett

photo by Jim Bennett

Undoubtedly one of 2009’s most memorable moments at KEXP was the blistering live set by the legendary Dick Dale. Our guest on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, the undisputed King of Surf Rock was not only a gracious and generous guest, an innovator of the electric guitar, a man who has twice beaten cancer, and a lover and caretaker of wild animals, but still, at 72 years, one of the most unbelievable guitar shredders in the history of music. Kevin Cole remembers:

When it came time for Dale to play, nearly every desk at KEXP was empty, as our staff squeezed into our engineering booth and nearby production room, angling for a glimpse at the king of surf guitar. With his long gray hair pulled back in a ponytail, Dale proceeded to absolutely shred on his Fender, displaying the inventive playing style that even influenced Jimi Hendrix. He soared through rip-roaring renditions of “Nitro” and his signature track “Miserlou,” and concluded with a soul-stirring take on “Amazing Grace,” which left everyone in the studio awestruck.

We couldn’t have been more thrilled not only to host this incredible performance but also to capture it to share with all of our listeners. You can listen to the entire performance at NPR Music and see the entire photo set here. But for now, the videos…

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  1. icastico
    Posted January 13, 2010 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    My old band, The Jonny Cats, played a show with Dick Dale back in the 90’s. The club handed out earplugs for free to the audience to protect patrons from his shredding…He stayed after the show until late into the night meeting fans.

    You can hear The Jonny Cats here:

  2. ho-dad
    Posted January 13, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Glad to see Dick beat his latest battle with cancer and is back in fine form!

  3. Chris Estey
    Posted January 13, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    I … could … watch … these videos … ALL DAY LONG.

    Thank you so much!

  4. vick13
    Posted January 13, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    What a great , thanks KEXP!!

  5. Dave in Brooklyn
    Posted January 19, 2010 at 2:35 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much. Dick Dale is the greatest. Thanks KEXP once again.

  6. Keith | Green Guitar Guy
    Posted January 19, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    He is indeed a legend. I saw him about 10 years ago in Dundee. He wouldn’t give me one of his picks though! Thanks for this KEXP.

  7. Craig
    Posted February 21, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    What a set! He’s still got it and only gets more polished with age. I wonder if he copied the over-the-neck fretting style from Shigeo!

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