On this day in 2019, surf guitar king Dick Dale passed away in Los Angeles at age 81.
As a teen, Dick Dale moved to California with his family, and completed his senior year at Washington High School in El Segundo. In 1955 he learned to surf and started playing at country western rockabilly bars, where he was given the name “Dick Dale” by fellow musician Texas Tiny. His left-handed, reverse-strung guitar playing and use of non-Western scales yielded surf rock hits like “Misirlou” and “Let’s Go Trippin,'” and his percussive, loud, reverb-laden instrumentals earned him the coolest of all credits — He is the Father of Heavy Metal.
Current events may be cancelled, but there’s a treasure trove of past events, people, and happenings that continue to be worth celebrating. Watch this space for a daily dose of L.A. history.