100 Greatest Guitarists

Find out who our panel of top guitarists and other experts picked

Dick Dale
100
Peter Pakvis/Redferns74/100

74. Dick Dale

"I wanted my guitar to sound like Gene Krupa's drums," Dick Dale said, and the hyperpercussive style he invented for his jukebox wonders – including a juiced-up arrangement of the old Greek tune "Misirlou" – pioneered the sound of surf rock. Dale played as fast as possible, at max volume; Leo Fender once attempted to design an amp that wouldn't be destroyed by Dale's sheer loudness. "His arrangements were really complex, really unruly," said Rush's Alex Lifeson. "It was all staccato strumming reverb, but with a reverb that just sounded so cool."

Key Tracks: "Misirlou," "The Peter Gunn Theme"

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