Surf rock legend Dick Dale takes to the stage at West Palm Beach's SunFest tonight. Sandwiched in between early rock 'n' roll, rockabilly and the British Invasion, surf rock briefly dominated the charts in the early '60s. Its easily accessible rhythms and narratives of carefree adolescence conjure images of sun soaked beaches, parties, girls, hot rods, and of course, catching that perfect wave. It remains incredibly evocative of the era, creating the kind of joyful blissful escapism that rapidly fell out of vogue when rock began to take itself more seriously as the decade wore on.
Dick Dale was a pioneer of the instrumental surf rock tune. His distorted heavy twang played at a frenetic pace and raucously loud made waves that influenced not only the genre he is synonymous with, but everyone from Van Halen to the Ramones. To celebrate his arrival, here's a playlist of surf rock classics to get swept away with.