Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Dick Dale - Live at the Santa Monica Pierdotdotdot
artworkDick Dale continues to perform to large crowds. His set hasn't changed much over the last five years, but his magnetism continues large and strong. He is a legend. There is no other like him, and few can play the "bridge cables" strung on a Strat as he does. The performance is typical for his live shows, mostly string, but occasionally flawed. If you've never seen Dick live, you must see him next time. There would be no surf instros as we know them today if it were not for Dick Dale. This is a soundboard tape turned bootleg. The sound is mostly solid, better than your average sound reinforcement tapes with too much kick and bass and no guitar. This is pretty well balanced in many spots.
Picks: Shredded Heat, Nitro, Trail Of Tears, Taco Wagon, Take It Or Leave It, Ghost Riders, Caterpillar Crawl, Rumble, Miserlou, Calling Up The Spirits, Window, Nitrus, The Wedge Paradiso, Let's Go Trippin' / Shake-N-Stomp, Fever, Third Stone From The Sun

Track by Track Review


Shredded Heat dotdot
Not (Instrumental)

Dick's "What'd I Say" riff worked into yet another song that he's been playing for a while, also known as "Desert Storm." It's repetitious.

Nitro dotdotdotdot
Anthemic Surf (Instrumental)

This track has become Dick's anthem for the 90s. A lot of bands are covering it, because it's fast and infectious, even though there's little melody. It's a hot track, and Dick's playing is superb.

Trail Of Tears dotdot
Mood Surf (Instrumental)

A long drum intro yields to a moody number that's not very Indian and not very melodic. Sets the mood and then does little with it.

Taco Wagon dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

No matter how many times I've seen/heard Dick do this since the eighties, I just can't get used to the bass sound. It doesn't hold up like the Capitol session.

Take It Or Leave It dot
Formula R&B (Instrumental)

Somewhat like a backtrack to "Fever," with chants of "Take it or leave it" in an R&B formula single style.

Ghost Riders dotdot
Cowpoke Surf (Instrumental)

Stan Jones' classic, with a stretched out guitar solo intro. Not very interesting.

Caterpillar Crawl dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dick has never captured the essence of this tune, not of the original Strangers' nor subsequent Lively Ones' versions. It's just too riffy for his nineties stripped down style.

Rumble dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

OK, it's Link Wray's tune, and Dick can play it, but there's just not enough sustain, OK!

Miserlou dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Not a bad performance... but then, it is "Miserlou" isn't it.

Calling Up The Spirits dot
Dick Talk (Vocal)

A bit of Indian percussion, a bunch of whoops and hollers, and some narration over the top don't make for interesting surf music. Cattle drive is more the image invoked. A cool idea, but underdeveloped.

Window dot
Rock (Vocal)

A pompous vocal number, boring and insipid.

Nitrus dotdot
Nitro Surf (Instrumental)

As if you couldn't tell from the name, it's a "Nitro" wannabe. Originality has left the building.

The Wedge Paradiso dotdotdotdotdot
Surf Rehash (Instrumental)

"The Wedge" is a pretty powerful performance. It's among his best writing ever.

Let's Go Trippin' / Shake-N-Stomp dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dick's first instro, coupled with one of his lesser early double picked tunes, makes for a crowd pleasing seque. He can still do it when he wants to. he is the King, after all.

Fever dot
Show Your Age Easy Listening Torch Song (Vocal)

This is the worst thing in recent memory. It's not just a sappy fifties torch song, it's badly sung... an embarrassment.

Third Stone From The Sun dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

After they die, Dick becomes their best friend. This is written for Jimi Hendrix of course. It's just OK.