Monday, June 05, 2006


As I've said before, if CBGB is going out, it's sure going out in style with a load of classic names (Blue Cheer, Joan Jett, Sonic Youth) joining the usual upstart reliables during the club's final months in what seems like a celebration of CB's entire raison d'etre or whatever the Frogs call it. And as far as style goes you can't get any classier than the "King of the Surf Guitar" Dick Dale, who made his presumably first and last appearance on the club's hallowed stage last night in front of a quivvering crowd of hard-rocking teens who probably thought they were going to see Korn, but thankfully these post-natals ate what Dale dished out for 'em which at least should give us some hope for the future!

I was wondering just how this oft-ignored guitar hero would "come off" in the here and now (after all, visions of a young, clean cut almost Dick Clark-looking Dale from various early sixties promo shots taken straight outta Bomp! magazine still dance in my head), and although the promotional snapshot repro'd above clearly shows that life has taken its toll on the once-sleek guitarist I pretty much thought, even knew in my artery-clogged heart of hearts that Dale would still "have it" in him to kick out some jams.

And I pretty much was right. With a rhythm section that looked young enough to perhaps be Dale's (great) grandkids, Dale took to the stage in head-band and leatherbound garb straight from the VON LMO GARAGE SALE and proceeded to smashcrash all of his old surf instro faves from "Miserlou" on, even tossing "Rumble" and a vocal or two into the mix as the typical young and rowdy CBGB audience barked appreciatively.

True, we hadda put up with lotsa heavy metal posturing that might have seemed outta place for a golden ager such as Dale, but even with the occasional guitar pyrotechnical tossout the guy was putting on a pretty hefty show for the lumpen even if it seemed to be slightly cookie-cutter. Yeah I know it ain't 1962 anymore, but Dale still cuts a fine swath in my book and rather him alive and active in the here and now than some of the utter drek of post-enlightenment rock that deserves to stay embedded in the eternal trash-heap of alternative mindsnooze, dontcha think?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've seen Dick Dale twice (once at the Forum on a bill with Jan and Dean and the Ventures, and the other time for free on the Santa Monica Pier) and to me the aspect of his shows that I like the least is when he sings. Someone should've told him a long time ago that he isn't Elvis (as much as he tried to be on his vocal numbers) and that he should've just shut up and played guitar, but it isn't as if he would have listened....