Dick Dale - Live On The Santa Monica Pier album review

One for the Dickheads.

Dick Dale Live On The Santa Monica Pier album cover

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When Jimi Hendrix’s alter ego intoned, ‘To you I shall put an end, then you’ll never hear surf music again’ during Third Stone From The Sun, the Boston-born king of the surf guitar took it as a compliment rather than a diss. So how could he not include it in his own repertoire, caught here during two summertime shows in 1994 and 1996.

Despite plenty of duplication, this double set proves that Dale was in sparkling form as he hit 60. Rejuvenated by Quentin Tarantino’s use of Misirlou for Pulp Fiction, Dick picks his way across a fine body of work that includes contemporary pieces Nitrus and Fish Taco and older stomps: Link Wray’s Rumble, Stan Jones’ Ghost Riders In The Sky and Henry Mancini’s Fever, all tailor-made for the Dale Stratocaster and Fender Showman.

It’s worth remembering that in his heyday Dick pioneered technoflash neo-metal noise and was a huge influence on SoCal punk rock, also enjoying a symbiotic relationship with The Tubes. Larger than life but essentially good-natured, even when calling up spirits, Dale’s championing of environmental and animal rights causes maintains his super-cult status. Let’s go trippin’.

Max Bell

Max Bell worked for the NME during the golden 70s era before running up and down London’s Fleet Street for The Times and all the other hot-metal dailies. A long stint at the Standard and mags like The Face and GQ kept him honest. Later, Record Collector and Classic Rock called.