Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Dick Dale - Samurai Surf Guitardotdotdotdot
artworkThis is a bootleg. Dick did not license it. There are other places to get most of this that the artist gets income from. Still, it's contains many great Dick Dale monsters.
Picks: Motion, The Wedge, Night Rider, Surf Buggy, Mag Wheels, Spanish Kiss, The Star (Of David), Banzai Washout, Tidal Wave, Firing Up, Nitro Fuel, Mr. Eliminator, Flashing Eyes, Taco Wagon, The Victor, Del-Tone Rock, Jungle Fever, Shake-N-Stomp, Eight 'Till Midnight, Peter Gunn, The Wedge, Pick And Play, Miserlou, Let's Go Tripping, Firing Up, King Of The Surf Guitar, Peter Gunn, Angry Generation, Let's Go Trippin' 65, Watusi Jo

Track by Track Review


Motion dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Motion" is a very nice moderately paced and melodic R&B-ish instro. Quite simple and old school, yet enjoyable and groovy in a motion oriented way. Great for a top down summer drive.

The Wedge dotdotdotdotdot
Not (Instrumental)

Hal Blaine's shredding machine gun drums add immeasurably to this rerecording of Dick's Del-tone single "A Run For Life," which Dick thankfully deleted the trumpet from. Thee most killer of all Dick's post-"Miserlou" tracks.

"The Wedge" was derived from a song called "The Rising Surf" written by Al Hazan and originally cut as a demo by the Tandems months before Dick went into the studio. "The Rising Surf" was based on a 1952 composition of Hazan's called "Dance Of Love," which was released by the Bell Sisters.

Night Rider dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Night Rider" was a single and album track from the days with Capitol. It's mostly power oriented, with minimal melody, and really foretells the style Dick Dale uses so efficiently today.

Surf Buggy dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a really cool instrumental from the Checkered Flag album. It's chunky and rhythmic. It holds up well over the 35 years since it was recorded. A great track to drive to, and fun too. You can just see Dick grinning at his audience while they sway to this... One of Dick's best semi-slow surf numbers, rhythmic and very cool. The lumbering pace is just superb. A really nice track.

Mag Wheels dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Another mostly instro track (except for the chanted drag race terms) that is truly rippin'! Gary Usher wrote it, and it's melody is quite infectious. It was a single as well as album track on Checkered Flag. Great playing, and way cool fun. It's also one of Dick's earliest sojourns into the glissando that the Chantays introduced into surf.

Spanish Kiss dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Spanish Kiss" is a splendid flamenco inspired number played on an acoustic guitar, full of pomp and drama, and the chorus is not too distracting. A totally wonderful side trip in the Disk Dale songbook. He has since called this "F-16" and "Speardance."

The Star (Of David) dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is one of Dick's master pieces. It has a great infectious rhythm, cool drums, and great guitar. Even the male chorus is tolerable. This is one track he should recut for his next album. It's been a fave of mine since '64, and will remain in my top 100 all time surf classics forever.

Banzai Washout dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A really unusual sound for Dick as he mimics with increase bell-like tone the super and obscure Catalinas track written by mister studio sax player Steve Douglas, who played on most of Duane Eddy's tracks, as well as the Challengers and others. It's a great flying raging surf monster played in the mid registers with stellar guitar tones. Most unique. This track comes from Dick's last studio album of the sixties "Summer Surf."

Tidal Wave dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

More studio construction without much real interest.

Firing Up dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Firing Up" is a dark mid-tempo number that is still used by Dick in fragments during his sets. Mostly just a riff, but a catchy riff at that. Nice track.

Nitro Fuel dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Nitro Fuel" is a flashy bit of Dick Dale-ism, with a very cool riff and lots of flair. Rockin' and rollin' with reverb. The catchiness of the riff is quite something, and Dick's double picked flying fingers in the break are spectacular.

Mr. Eliminator dotdotdotdot
Not (Instrumental)

This version is from the Mr. Eliminator album. It's a bit of a contrast for Dick, big chords and whammy instead of double picked power house delivery, but a solid track nonetheless.

The Smithereens covered it in the eighties, which got MTV Europe's attention as they were getting ready to launch back in '89, and that caused them to contract with Dick Dale for a 10 second version for use as a logo.

Flashing Eyes dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is one of Dick's fastest and most-fun tracks. The studio session is not the best, but this must have been a shredder live. Its great call and response lead work and power glissandoes are totally killer! Marvelous.

Taco Wagon dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Despite it's oomp-pa-pa quality, this is one heck of a great song. It's from the Mr. Eliminator album, and has been covered frequently. "Taco Wagon" has more Mexican flavor than the nachos at Taco Bell... really. It's a great track!

The Victor dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This track ranks as one of the great Middle Eastern surf epics. It is truly minimal melody, but has an intensity all it's own, which lead the Mermen to include it in their infamous "Middle Eastern medley." Power, Intensity, Grace... what more do you want?

Del-Tone Rock dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Del-Tone Rock" was the B-side of "Let's Go Trippin'" from the Del-tone days. It displays the tradition rock 'n' roll roots Dick Dale's early instro sound was born of, and also foretells the soon to be born surf sound. It also helps clarify the residency of the original version of "Let's Go Trippin'" on the pre-surf side of the boundary. A very fine track.

Jungle Fever dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Jungle Fever" is the single studio version of "Surfing Drums." It is actually a cover of Bo Diddley's "Hush Your Mouth." It's a great glimpse into those long lost times in Balboa when Dick Dale was King and the big Surf sound was just dawning. It's too bad that it fades out during the drum solo, but I suspect it segues into some other tune. Dick performed it live in the early nineties as "Jungle Bunnies" with the same voiced calls.

Shake-N-Stomp dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This Del-tone session is an early double picked track, before "Miserlou" as a single, but from the same period live. This track is often assumed to have been recorded at the Rendezvous, but reportedly was recorded at a small studio. Good grindage.

Eight 'Till Midnight dotdotdotdot
R&B Surf (Instrumental)

"Eight Till Midnight" was never included on an album, but was the b-side of "Miserlou." It's a very cool R&B theme song for the Rendezvous gigs. Memorable and poppy.

Peter Gunn dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Peter Gunn" has evolved only slightly over the years Dick has used it as an opener. He's in rare form here, playing it smoothly and with guts.

The Wedge dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dick has developed this most difficult to play of his mega-monsters into a show piece, with a long guitar solo intro, and then a pounding duet between his ax and the drums. A great raging performance. He would do well to play this hot today.

Pick And Play dot
Rock (Instrumental)

Dick said he "wrote" this the night before the show, but of course he was referring to the words and not the music, because it's just another set of lyrics over an old Dick Dale standard.

Miserlou dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dick's signature tune is played with panache and flair and high energy. It's the "Miserlou Twist" arrangement without the dumb violins. Hot stuff here.

Let's Go Tripping dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dick's fourth recording of his first instro. He can still make this tune sing when he wants to. Smooth and energetic.

Firing Up dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Playing with his audience, Dick does a haltingly stretched out version of this mid-tempo track from his golden era. It's almost visual in it's deliberate slow pacing in front of Dick's fans.

King Of The Surf Guitar dot
Surf (Vocal)

The girls are singing so Vegas-like... The guitar playing is fine, but sheesh!

Peter Gunn dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Peter Gunn" has evolved only slightly over the years Dick has used it as an opener. He's in rare form here, playing it smoothly and with guts.

Angry Generation dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is one of the best things Dick ever did. It's quite simple, but it has the most ominous tones anywhere on a surf record, and it is essential Dick Dale listening. The huge sound of Dick's guitar, and the slow-gallop staccato is unsurpassed.

Let's Go Trippin' 65 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Smoother and bigger than Dick's original, this has none of the charm, but much more fullness. It's slowed down, and lifeless. Barely a pick.

Watusi Jo dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Not a surf lick to be found, but it is a nifty composition for the post surf Dick Dale. The times, they were a changin'