Friday, April 19, 2024

Dick Dale Surf Rocks the House

Things I never do and have not done in 20 years:

1. Wait in the rain on a sidewalk to get into a club. 2. Sit in a smoke-filled room for three hours waiting for the act to start, being entertained by really bad surf music and two girls with butterfly tattoos making out. 3. Drink two plastic cups of warm Sutter Home Chardonnay. 4. Stay out till 1 a.m. on a Monday night.

Things I did last night:

All of the above.

And all this just to see Dick Dale, whom no one I talk to has heard of (Are you kidding me? If Marie Speed, the middle-aged epitome of uncool knows that Dick Dale is a living legend, where have you people been???) Dick Dale, now 74 but still tough, still fit, still rocking a ponytail and leather jacket, is the all-time king of the surf guitar ( his signature tune is Miserlou, linked here. I have no idea why I know who he is except I always have. And there was a reason I waited for him for three hours. The man is brilliant and earned every accolade last night—from his rendition of Ghost Riders to Amazing Grace to the iconic Miserlou. Although Respectable Street is not my venue of choice (and I really did hate that stinking three-hour wait), to see Dick Dale in a room like that explode on the guitar was a once-in-a-lifetime thrill. Sigh. Yet one more reason to love a great too-late summer night in South Florida: an icon of surf culture washes up in your own backyard and you do what you must. You get off your sorry rear end and go pay him homage. It was the least I could do.

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