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Richard Anthony Monsour was an American rock guitarist and music legend.
He is credited with contributing heavily to the surf rock phenomenon and released many hits over the years. His guitar style has also inspired other famous musicians, and his work continues to inspire and appear in other artists' work today.
To learn more about this surf guitar legend, read on.
Dick Dale's net worth was around $2 million at the time of his death.
At the height of his career, Dick Dale is said to have earned $1 million per year. Unfortunately, his earnings took a serious hit after he was diagnosed with cancer, which greatly affected the effort and time he was able to put into creating music.
Dick Dale was quite tall - he had a height of 6 ft (183 cm).
Dick was born on May 4, 1937, and died on March 16, 2019, in Loma Linda, California. He was 81 years old at the time of his death.
Richard Anthony Monsour was born on May 4, 1937, in Boston, Massachusetts. His father, James Monsour, was Lebanese, and his mother, Sophia Fern Danksewicz, was of Polish-Belarusian descent. Shortly after his birth, his family moved to Quincy, Massachusetts, and he attended Quincy High School until the eleventh grade. He spent his senior year of high school at Washington Senior High School in El Segundo, California, after his father, James, got a job working for Hughes Aircraft, a Californian aerospace company.
Young Richard was quite adept at handling musical instruments and began learning the piano at age nine after seeing his aunt play it. He learned to play the trumpet in seventh grade and bought a ukelele shortly after. He also stated that he was greatly inspired to play various instruments by his uncle, who could play the oud (a type of lute) and taught him how to play the tarabaki (a type of drum). He then picked up playing the guitar after buying one from a friend and used his knowledge of his previously learned instruments to build his own unique playing style. His surf-rock playing style was also deeply influenced by his Lebanese background and love of Arabic music.
Dick Dale married three times in his lifetime. His first wife was Jeannie, a Tahitian dancer who he met in Hawaii and married in the ’70s. The couple toured together alongside the Deltones until they had a falling out, which ended in a very public and bitter divorce in 1984. Dick Dave is said to have lost most of his savings during the course of their divorce.
He met Jill, his second wife in 1986. Jill even provided backup vocals for his 1993 album 'Thunder Tribal'. The couple had a son, James, in 1992. The circumstances of their split are unknown.
Dick Dave married his third wife Lana Dale in 2011, and the two stayed together until his death in 2019.
Richard Monsour began his career as a country musician in the ’60s, where he played in local bars. He met Texas Tiny during this time, who gave him the name 'Dick Dale', who thought it more appropriate for a country singer.
He created the surf music phenomenon in the ’60s through the usage of his Fender Stratocaster and Fender Showman Amplifier. He began to regularly perform at the Rendezvous Ballroom in Balboa, and these events became so popular that they were routinely sold out.
After finding success from these performances, the rock guitarist began to record and release songs on his own Deltone record label, including 'Let's Go Trippin', 'Jungle Fever', 'St. Louis Blues' and 'Surf Beat'. He also released his take on the folk song 'Misirlou', which rose to become his signature single. He made many appearances on 'The Ed Sullivan Show'. Dick Dale and his band, the Del-Tone, performed many songs which were featured in popular films like 'Beach Party' and 'Muscle Beach Party'.
He released many albums, including 'Checkered Flag', 'Summer Surf' and 'King of The Surf Guitar', which was also one of his nicknames.
Dale continued to play well in the '60s but unfortunately developed bowel cancer, due to which he was forced to take an extended break from music. He became an environmental activist as a result of contracting an almost-fatal infection due to pollution-infested waters, which led to him performing again. Dale never actually retired from music but continued to tour until his death due to kidney failure and heart failure in 2019. He shared with the magazine 'Rolling Stone' in 2015 that he had no option but to continue playing concerts, as he needed money to pay off his high medical bills.
Dick Dale was inducted into the Hollywood Rock Walk of Fame in 1996, as well as the Dale was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2009 and the Surfing Walk of Fame in Huntington Beach, California in 2011, for his contribution to surf culture and surf rock music.
He was elected to the Library of Congress Hall of Records for outstanding achievements in music by the US House of Representatives in 2000.
He was known as the 'Father of Heavy Metal', thanks to his use of heavy gauge guitar strings and loud amplifiers. The custom-made amplifiers helped him reach volumes that were higher than any other equipment at that time.
Apart from music, Dick Dale greatly enjoyed surfing. He learned how to surf at the age of 17 and could be observed regularly catching waves over the years.
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