Jack White penned a tribute to Dick Dale following the King of the Surf Guitar’s death Sunday. Like a generation of guitarists before him, White was inspired by Dale’s pioneering style. “I spent many moments learning his massive reverbed guitar licks in my bedroom, and still enjoy playing his song ‘Nitro‘ whenever I can,” White wrote on the Third Man Records Instagram. “Sadly, I never got to meet him.”
In addition to developing the surf rock genre, Dale also help mold the modern electric guitar thanks to his close relationship with Leo Fender, the then-owner of the guitar company.
“A unique innovator of the guitar with pick melting style and swagger for miles,” White continued. “I can remember traveling up to Pontiac from Detroit by myself to watch him play when I was sixteen. That upside down gold sparkle Fender of his needs to be hung up some place special.”
Brian Wilson similarly paid tribute to Dale on social media, “I’m sorry to hear about Dick Dale passing. Dick’s guitar playing was a big influence on all of us, and we covered “Misirlou” on our Surfin’ USA album in ‘63.”