Magazine article Guitar Player

I Had the Honor of Presenting

Magazine article Guitar Player

I Had the Honor of Presenting

Article excerpt

I HAD THE HONOR OF PRESENTING Dick Dale with the Guitar Player LEGEND award at the magazine's 40th Anniversary Concert at Muriel Anderson's All-Star Guitar Night during the NAMM show on January 20. This was only the third time GP has bestowed this award. The two previous honorees were Les Paul and Duane Eddy.

Although Dale is lionized as the "King of the Surf Guitar"--he invented the genre, so he certainly deserves the title--he also shares behavioral traits with thuggish hard rockers, Everest climbers, and Leonardo da Vinci. This is a man chock full of high expectations, a tireless imagination, and churning turbines of energy. Not just a transcendent guitarist, Dale is an expert horseman, surfer (duh), archer, martial artist, exotic animal trainer, home designer and builder, and pilot. He also carries around a galaxy's worth of charisma, and a hint of benevolent menace. Punk rockers and rebels of all stripes should love the fact that Dale's early product development with Leo Fender consisted of torturing amps and speakers to the point of meltdown. Even in the seemingly more polite musical environment of the late '50s and very early '60s, the man always played loud--extremely loud--and the gear had to catch up to his punishing performances.

Happily, every single essence that makes Dick Dale "DICK DALE" showed up at GP's 40th Anniversary Concert. At 70 years old, he can be officially categorized as a senior citizen, but that was no old man who was jumping around the stage giving playful karate kicks to his 15-year-old son and co-guitarist, Jimmy. …

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