“Misirlou” is the quintessential surf instrumental and Dick Dale’s sonic signature – or is that redundant? In any case, rock history acknowledges this tune as the first surf genre piece to feature the “wet” sound of Fender’s reverb unit. Coupled with Dale’s furious upside-down Strat attack through the newly designed, and immediate overdrive, 100-watt Dual Showman stacks, (and let’s not forget Dick’s own “surf trumpet”) it is absolute dynamite. For most, it’s the definitive surf sound.
“Misirlou” has unusual origins for a seminal piece in American rock. Its roots are in Middle Eastern music, and it was a 1940s pop hit in Turkey (and a Greek folk dance) two decades before Dick revived and reinvented the piece in 1962 – when he gave it a high energy twist by performing it on electric guitar with his band, the Del-Tones. It was rediscovered in the ’90s when it appeared as a leading cut from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack.
Transcribed by me and free for you to use.
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