By Barry Gilbert
St. Louis Post-Dispatch


June 9, 2005

9 p.m. June 10, 2005, at Mississippi Nights, 914 North First Street. $16-$18. 314-421-3853.

The terms "hero" and "legend" are applied to way too many people these days, but few have earned them in the context of rock 'n' roll more than pioneer Dick Dale. The King of the Surf Guitar and the Father of Heavy Metal, Dale, 67, influenced guitarists from Jimi Hendrix to Eddie Van Halen, as well as everyone who ever strapped on a Telecaster. Dale for years worked with the Fender guitar company toward the holy grail of undistorted volume and deeper tones. And, with "Let's Go Trippin'" in 1961, he invented the rapid-fire picking and reverb-heavy chording to which surf bands such as the Beach Boys and Jan & Dean put words. Cancer nearly cost him his life in 1966, and a surfing accident his leg in 1979. But Dale survived to become cool again in 1994, when Quentin Tarentino used his hit version of "Miserlou" in "Pulp Fiction," and he has been touring and recording steadily ever since.