Dick Dale's fiery, fluttery guitar playing ignites Pulp Fiction almost as excitedly as Amanda Plummer threatening to "execute every-motherfucking-last one of you" in its opening scene. The Boston-born guitar icon released "Misirlou" – a Mediterranean folk tune, whose title translates literally to "Egyptian Girl" or, as Alan di Perna put it in Guitar Masters, maybe the title translates more precisely to "Non-Christian Girl" – in 1962, a track he claimed to have recorded 95 times in an effort to reduce the oceans of reverb that ultimately defined surf rock.
That watery guitar sound also defined Pulp Fiction. "Having 'Misirlou' as your opening credit, it's just so intense," Tarantino said in 1994. "It just says you're watching an epic, you're watching a big, ol' movie. . . It just throws down a gauntlet that the movie now has to live up to."