Dick Dale, "King of the Surf Guitar," Dead at 81

(Image credit: Boston Globe/Getty Images)

Dick Dale, known as the "King of the Surf Guitar," has died at the age of 81. The legendary guitarist's death was confirmed by his live bassist, Sam Bolle.

Born Richard Monsour in Boston in 1937 to a Lebanese father and Polish mother, Dale grew up listening to both Middle Eastern and Eastern European folk music, both of which had a tremendous impact on his eventual playing style. 

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.