July 9, 2009

Dick Dale//Miserlou

Dudes. It’s Surf Week and I’m listening to you, just like you’re listening to all the OSS tracks in one big playlist on your iTunes on shuffle. I know I do that sometimes. Bonus points if your computer background is set to a “beach scene.”

Two comments from yesterday’s post suggested more! great! Surf! MMrules suggested “Pipeline Sequence” by Honk. Sorry, MMrules, but I can’t dig this up anywhere. The most I could find about this is that it’s from the soundtrack of 1972 Surf film, Five Summer Stories (Surf Films are the pre-cursor to Skateboarding Movies as Surfing was the pre-cursor to Skateboarding?). Thanks for the suggestion though. I’m sure it’s awesome and I will keep looking. Or…if anyone’s reading and wants to share…

Comment number two was from Karl (yeah, you guys know Karl). He suggested Dick Dale and I think that’s an awesome suggestion.

So, you know how Michael Jackson is “The King of Pop?” Well, Dick Dale is “The King of Surf Guitar.” ...Even though he's from Boston? I didn’t even know Surf Guitar had a king.

This song, which has become a Surf anthem, was also featured in Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. It was also recorded by The Beach Boys. What’s weird is that the song is actually a popular Greek song. Dale’s version has an awesome story, from Wikipedia:

The song was rearranged as a solo instrumental guitar piece by Dick Dale in 1962. Dale's father and uncles were Lebanese-American musicians who were a part of the aforementioned ethnic nightclub scene. Although they were Arab, they, like other performers, played the music of all the main cultures which made up the nightclub patrons—that included Greek music and Misirlou. During a performance, Dale was bet by a young fan that he could not play a song on only one string of his guitar. Later that night, he remembered seeing his uncle play "Misirlou" on one string (actually a double string) of the oud. He tried to imitate that style on his guitar, but vastly increased the song's tempo to make it into rock'n'roll, and the result was the famous Dick Dale Misirlou. It was Dale's version that introduced "Misirlou" to a wider audience in the United States as "Miserlou."

What a badass.

Also, I stumbled upon this Vinyl District post in my research and wanted to tell you all that there are more great Surf tracks to be found here.


Oh yeah, and, comment three was from Becky. She was just confused about The Beach Boys wearing flannel.

Surf Week Fact #4: The sport of surfing has become so popular that it now represents a multi-billion dollar industry specially in clothing and fashion markets. Some people make a career out of surfing by receiving corporate sponsorships.


karl said...


Tom Howie said...

Thanks for the surfing vibe. Love it. This was the first song my punk band learned to play when I was 12. Awesome. Us Boston based people know how to surf, rep'd by Dale himself. Fantastic!

- tomhowie.com/blog

g said...

Totally. Boston definitely scored a much-needed point with this one.