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Richard Drew/AP
dick dale

'We all owe you': Tributes after death of musician behind Pulp Fiction theme song

His style influenced musicians like The Beach Boys, Eddie Van Halen and Jimi Hendrix.

DICK DALE, THE musician behind the song Misirlou, which plays during the opening scene of Pulp Fiction, has died at the age of 81.

His death was confirmed by Dusty Watson, a drummer who once toured with him.

Dale was dubbed the ‘King of Surf Guitar’, a genre he invented in the 1950s. He described the style in a 1994 New York Times interview as “a heavy machine-gun staccato picking style to represent the power of Mother Nature, of our Earth, of our ocean.”

His style influenced musicians like The Beach Boys, Eddie Van Halen and Jimi Hendrix. 

Tributes to Dale have poured in online, including from Beach Boy Brian Wilson:

Dale, a Lebanese-American, was born Richard Monsour in 1937 in Boston, and moved to California as a teen.

He was still performing until the time of his death, according to reports. Four years ago he gave an interview to the Pittsburgh City Paper in which he said he had to raise $3,000 every month to pay for the medical supplies he needed to stay alive – and this was on top of the insurance he paid. 

I can’t stop touring because I will die. Physically and literally, I will die.

“You tell the people, ‘Don’t be scared of dying,’” he said. “When your mind leaves this body, it is a beautiful thing and it is not to be feared. Don’t let that fear of dying affect the way you live.

“You take that fear and you use it as a driving force to keep moving forward, no matter how much pain you have. That’s how I do what I do on stage. I’m not afraid to die because it all gets beautiful from here.”

- With reporting from AFP

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