Surf Guitarist Dick Dale Dies At 81

Dick Dale, the guitarist who pioneered “surf rock,” died Saturday at 81.

“We all owe you. Rock on,” Queen guitarist Brian May wrote in an Instagram tribute. “I wish I’d met him. But truly we all benefit from his trailblazing.”

Born Richard Anthony Monsour, Dale’s distinctive sound was the result of influences from his Lebanese heritage blended with reverb and a rapid picking style.

His most familiar track, “Miserlou,” was used in the opening of Pulp Fiction and Dale’s 1961 instrumental “Let’s Go Trippin’” is credited with launching that decade’s surf rock wave.

Dale retired in the ‘70s but returned to performing in the ‘80s. He battled health issues over the years, including cancer and diabetes.

“I can’t stop touring because I will die,” he told Pittsburgh City Paper in 2015. “Physically and literally, I will die.”

Among those paying tribute on social media was Chuck D of Public Enemy, who tweeted: “Dick Dale was DoPE."