Tales of Rock – SPECIAL REPORT – Dick Dale, Surf Guitar Legend, Dead At 81

Dick Dale, the surf rock pioneer who took reverb to new levels, died on Saturday night. He was 81. The guitarist’s health had declined over the past 20 years due to a number of illnesses, including diabetes, kidney disease and rectal cancer. The news was confirmed to NPR by Dusty Watson, a drummer who worked and toured with Dale between 1995 and 2006, who says he spoke with Dale’s wife, Lana Dale. No cause was given.

Dale, born Richard Anthony Monsour in 1937, changed the sound of rock and roll in the early 1960s when he upped the reverb on his guitar and applied the Arabic scales of his father’s native Lebanon. Born and originally raised in Massachusetts, he found his aesthetic when his family moved to Orange County, California in 1954 — where he took up surfing.

His high-energy interpretation of an old song from Asia Minor, “Misirlou” (Egyptian Girl), became the most famous song of surf rock: He had learned the tune from his Lebanese uncles, who played it on the oud.

“I started playing it,” Dale, who had started out as a drummer, told NPR in a 2010 interview, “and I said, ‘Oh no, that’s too slow.’ And I thought of Gene Krupa’s drumming, his staccato drumming… When we went to California, I got my first guitar, but I was using this rocket-attack, Gene Krupa rhythm on the guitar.”

And that wildfire-tempo song became his signature: Dale self-released “Misirlou” as a single on Deltone Records in 1962, which led in part to a deal with Capitol Records to distribute his first album, 1962’s Surfer’s Choice. Dale’s first album for Capitol was 1963’s King of the Surf Guitar; he said that fans at an early show came up with the honorary moniker.

Dale’s collaborations with guitar inventor Leo Fender also made sonic history. “I met a man called Leo Fender,” he told NPR, “who is the Einstein of the guitar and the amplifiers. He says, ‘Here, I just made a guitar, it’s a Stratocaster. You just beat it to death and tell me what you think. So when I started playing on that thing, I wanted to get it to be as loud as I could, like Gene Krupa drums. And as I was surfing, when the waves picked me up and took me through the tubes, I would get that rumble sound.”

Fender and Dale also worked together on amplifiers, Dale told Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross in 1993. “I wanted to get a fat, thick, deep sound,” Dale remarked.

Fender kept trying options, but Dale still wasn’t satisfied. “We kept on making all these adjustments with output transformers, with speakers,” Dale told Fresh Air, “and that’s how I blew up over 48 speakers and amplifiers. They’d catch on fire, the speakers would freeze, the speakers would tear from the coils … So he went back to the drawing board came up and invented the Dick Dale Showman amplifier, and the dual Showman amplifier with the 15 inch Lansing speaker. That was the end result … along with the creations that we did on the Stratocaster guitar, making it a real thick body because the thicker the wood, the purer the sound.”

Three decades after he first released his most famous tune, Dale and “Misirlou” had a wave of resurgence after the song was featured in the opening credits of Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 film Pulp Fiction. The movie’s soundtrack sold more than 3 million copies and helped put surf rock — and Dale himself — in front of a new generation of music fans. New compilations were issued and he was even booked on the 1996 Warped Tour.

Over the decades that followed, he released two more albums and kept playing in front of live audiences. “I make my guitar scream with pain or pleasure or sensuality,” he told NPR. “It makes people move their feet and shake their bodies. That’s what music does.”

Rest in peace, Mr. Dale. You will be missed, but your unique sound lives forever.

 

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Tales of Rock: Iggy Pop

Iggy Pop has been around forever, and is responsible for that one song you definitely know, and several more you probably don’t. As a consequence of being around forever, there’s two distinct phases in his career: the drug phase and the post-drug phase.

First the drug phase–and hang on to your butts, because this is pretty nasty. Back in 1969-1970, Iggy and his original band, the Stooges, all hung out together in an apartment in Detroit, and, possibly because no one had invented the internet yet, they got bored and started doing a lot of heroin. A side note: One of the quirks about taking heroin intravenously is that after shooting up, you end up with a bit of blood inside the hypodermic. Which these guys started squirting out over the walls and ceiling. Imagine what that apartment must have looked like after a few weeks and months, and keep in mind that heroin is not known for being much of a motivator, and you start to realize why getting these guys out to a show might have been somewhere between difficult and your worst nightmare.

A Typical Day If You Were Iggy Pop’s Personal Assistant (Drug Phase):

You: No. I am not going back into that apartment. Because fuck you guys, that’s why. If you need me, I will be five thousand miles away and on fire, because I quit, and because I will light myself on fire having seen what I just saw. Fuck.

Since then, Iggy’s cleaned up a bit, which should make shepherding him around a lot easier of a chore. And by all accounts it is, aside from the hilarious contract rider he has for gigs. For those that don’t know, a contract rider specifies the required amenities that should be in a performer’s dressing room; snacks, beverages, that sort of thing. Iggy’s is one of the most extensive in the industry, and although it’s almost certainly a joke, has specific requests for:

“Seven dwarves dressed up as those dwarves out of that film about the dwarves. You know the one. Cinderella?”

“Two cans of red bull. Something with testicles in it”

“Cauliflower/Broccoli, cut into individual florets and thrown immediately into the garbage. I fucking hate that.”

Awesome.

A Typical Day If You Were Iggy Pop’s Personal Assistant (Post-Drug Phase):

Concert Promoter: …You: Look, you know the way these rock stars are. They’ve got an image to live up to…Concert Promoter: …You: And I don’t have to tell you that there is nothing more rock and roll than, uh,… drinking testicles and wasting food in the company of a dwarf.

 

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California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Chapter 6 – The French Quarter – Part 2

First, let me give you some history on Mardi Gras.

Mardi Gras is actually only one night. Fat Tuesday. The night before Ash Wednesday. The weeks of partying before Mardi Gras is actually Carnival.

For the entire Carnival, they never clean Bourbon Street. They can’t. Since the bars are open 24 hours a day, never close no matter what, it’s impossible to clean up. In other words, when you walk down Bourbon Street, you never look down. If you drop something, it’s gone man, forget it. After Mardi Gras, you throw away your shoes.

When you walk down Bourbon, things you step on squish, crunch, slide, make little crying noises, so you NEVER look down.

Some of the people arrested during Carnival are held in jail until Mardi Gras and forced to clean the streets. Now that’s punishment.

At Midnight on Fat Tuesday, they lock all the doors to all the bars and other establishments on Bourbon, and anyone caught on the street is arrested. Once all the doors are locked, the Police come down the street. A line of three Patrol cars, followed by a line of Police on horse back, followed by three SWAT trucks, followed by three Street Sweepers.

They cruise down the street arresting people while they clean the streets.

On to the story.

Frank and I are just going from bar to bar and drinking our faces off. It’s a crazy time and I can’t believe I’m already living this life on the road. People are dancing in the streets and i feel like I’m in a scene from Easy Rider at 19 years old.

We’re in Bourbon Blues (an awesome club on Bourbon Street) and I start talking to the guy next to me. He says his name is Tim and he’s from Cincinnati. He sells Bingo supplies. We talk for a while and he offers to buy us a round of drinks. Four, thirty-two ounce Hurricanes. And these are seven dollars each, plus one for himself….Do the math.

I thank him, and he says, “No, you’re not done yet.” And proceeds to order two shots of Tequila and two shots of 151 Rum into EACH drink. Shots are five bucks each, that makes each drink worth Twenty-Seven dollars, and he bought five of them.

My idiot friends ( We just met yesterday) don’t realize what’s going on, all they know is that there’s a fresh drink waiting for them. They don’t know about the four extra shots in them.

So we talk, finish our drinks and I tell him that I’ve got the next round.

He says no, and buys another round of five, Twenty-Seven dollar Hurricanes.

And the guys I’m with still have no idea what the hell is going on. They still think it’s just a normal Hurricane.

We finish that round, and once again I offer to buy a round. And once again, he declines and orders another round the same way.

And once again, my friends have no idea what they’re drinking.

When we finish this round, I offer one last time to pay for the round, and once again, he buys it instead. Let me break this down for you. Four rounds of five drinks at Twenty-Seven bucks a drink = $540.00.

I figure this is the nicest person I’ve ever met in my life.

Then my Philly Paranoia kicks in and I figure he’s going to ditch and stick me with the bill. Until I see him hand the bartender a credit card, get his slip, sign it and hand back the receipt.

Now I know he’s the nicest guy I’ve ever met.

Halfway through the drink I turn around, and Tim’s gone. He’s like the alcoholic Lone Ranger. What a nice guy. For the next hour, I was truly planning on flying to Cincinnati and find Tim and thank him personally.

A little while later I’m at the bar talking to a girl when I feel a rumbling in my stomach. I excuse myself and proceed to puke all over the floor while sitting right there at the bar. Thankfully my friends were there to take pictures.

After I was done, I wiped my mouth, apologized and continued talking to the girl.

That was when we realized that Tim isn’t all that nice. He got us so drunk we could hardly walk. From then on he was known as “Evil Tim” and we all planned a trip to Cincinnati to kill him, or at the very least, hold him down and pour a bottle of 151 down his throat.

At 2 am, I turn to my friends and announce, “I’m leaving.”

“You can’t leave,” Juan tells me, “They haven’t opened the doors yet.”

“Why do you want to leave?” Mikey asks.

“I’m out of cigs. I’m leaving.”

Ten minutes later we’re outside the club, on the street, in the middle of an insane riot.

To this day, we have no idea how we got outside. There were bouncers guarding every door and window.

So we’re in the street, there are people running everywhere, and about thirty feet away I see a bunch of cop cars with the sirens on.

I turn to Frank, Juan and Mikey and say, “Hey, let’s go see what’s going on with the cops over there.”

And I started walking towards the ruckus.

Mikey grabs us by the arm, points down a side street and says, “Why don’t we go this way instead?”

I turn to Mikey and say, “For once I agree with the Jew.”

And we followed him to safety.

The next day Frank and I walked around the cloudy aftermath and took some pictures and then got back on the road.

Definitely and insane detour but well worth it.

 

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Another Life – Chapter 9

https://lapetitemort17.wordpress.com/?p=383

 

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Here Is Some Useful Advice On How To Read a Guys Mind

https://va.topbuzz.com/s/RrSRR

 

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Murder Mystery Weekend – Chapter 10

Barbara arrived last. That girl was constantly late. One day, she would be late for her own funeral. But, as she liked to say, she was ‘worth the wait’. I was in the garage when she pulled in, gathering the tools we would need tomorrow, for taking the dock out of the water and closing the boathouse. That meant I was the first to greet her.

She had changed her clothes before getting into the car, that much was for sure. There was no way that she could have gone out in public with what she was wearing – not without getting arrested for indecent exposure. She had on a short denim skirt that covered very, very little. On top, she was wearing a white shirt, knotted just under her magnificent breasts. Her lacy black bra showed through quite plainly.

I wouldn’t have been surprised if you told me that Barbara purchased her bras from a parachute manufacturer. She had extra-large hooters, and went to great pains to make sure that everyone knew it. The rest of her body was nothing special.

But Barbara’s face was like the Portrait of Dorian Gray: it revealed every vice and every sin that she had ever committed, considered, or even contemplated. She wore just that little extra bit of eye make-up, and her lipstick was always freshly applied. She was far from shy. I have to give her this much credit: Barbara was no home-wrecker. Guys in relationships were perfectly safe from her attentions. But single men – and, if the rumours had any truth to them, single women – were certainly fair game.

Teresa let Barb greet everyone and get settled in. Perhaps half an hour later, she called us all together. By then, most of us were on our second or third drink. Anticipation was growing, and tongues were beginning to wag more freely.

“Welcome, everyone!” said Teresa. “I want to thank our hostess, Eliza, for sharing her wonderful cottage and providing us with a place to play.”

– “You can pay me back tomorrow.” responded Eliza.

Teresa carried on. “The main floor of the house will be our main deck. The kitchen will be our communal galley.” She turned to point in the opposite direction. “The master bedroom – thanks again, Ee – will henceforth be the Captain’s cabin. As such, it is off limits to you scurvy dogs. Except for Lena, who will be sharing it with me.”

That led to a chorus of “Ooohs”, led by Ben and Barb.

– “Not like that.” said Teresa. There is a bathroom off the master bedroom, if the need is urgent. Otherwise, there is a very large bathroom upstairs, and another downstairs. Upstairs will now be known as the upper deck, and that is where most of you will be bunking. There are four bedrooms: Eliza and Claire get the first, Barb and Sheila share the second. Gentlemen, you are at the end of the hall. Ben and Craig will share, and Leo bunks with Eric.”

Leo looked at me, mildly concerned. He was a fussy sleeper, and did not know Eric well.

– “Teresa – sorry.” I interrupted. “I thought you had me rooming with Eric.”

– “I drew lots among the guys, Colin – and you lost. You’ll be camping in the den, right over there. I brought along an air mattress and a sleeping bag.” The den was on the other side of the stairs from the master bedroom.

Teresa then led us downstairs. “This area will be known as the hold.” she said. There was a bathroom, and a very large games room, featuring a pool table and a ping pong table (or table tennis, if you prefer). Further off, there was a storage room, and a laundry room.

That is where Teresa led us. “This room is off limits.” she said, indicating the laundry room. “It is the brig. This is where the dread pirate Redbeard is imprisoned. As Captain Fairwind, I will have the only key. Redbeard will not be leaving this room until we arrive in Barbados – for his hanging.”

“As for outside – for our purposes, everything between the house and the dock is considered part of the ship. That includes the deck, leading outside from the kitchen, the garage, the patio, and the boathouse. Your cars are not considered part of the ship. If you need to go back to your car, you are out of character there.”

“I have a copy here of your character sketch and the introduction, in case you’ve misplaced yours. These envelopes also contain some new instructions, as well as any items or money that you may be carrying.”

“We’re ready to begin. I want everyone to go and put on their costume. Then get yourself a drink, and we will gather on the main deck. Claire – here’s your envelope. Eliza …”

I was last – Teresa was sticking to the order she had posted in the kitchen. She handed me my envelope, with that lovely half-smile on her face, and whispered: “Good luck.”

https://lapetitemort17.wordpress.com/?p=268

 

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Tales of Rock – Prince Assaults Sinead O’Connor

In the early 90s, Sinead O’Connor scored a massive hit with her cover of the Prince-penned “Nothing Compares To You.” Sorry, that should probably read “Nothing Compares 2 U.” We are talking about Prince after all. At any rate, according to O’Connor, His Purpleness was less than thrilled with her decision to cover the song since he was already planning to give it to a female protege of his, perhaps in exchange for a series of unthinkable sex acts.

When he met with Sinead to discuss the situation, things got a bit out of hand. And by “out of hand” we mean “they got in a goddamned fistfight.”

It started with Prince berating the shorn-locked singer for, of all things, cursing in interviews. She replied with a diplomatic and sympathetic “go fuck yourself.” At that point, O’Connor claims Prince became physically threatening, or at least to the extent Prince can physically threaten anyone.

At that point the two went at it, in what was probably the most effeminate fistfight of all time. Prince used his fists, O’Connor used loogies. “All I could do was spit. I spat on him quite a bit,” she said. Classy! Not that beating women is any classier, but seriously, how would you feel if you were robbed of the chance to pass one of your most enduring tunes onto one of your talented proteges? Imagine the possibilities!

 

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