Just as Babe Ruth called his shot in 1932, so did Dick Dale chart his own destiny in 1963—and, fortunately for all surf-guitar buffs, Dale's is captured forever in the grainy black-and-white annals of YouTube. In one of the first televised performances of Dick Dale & the Del-Tones' "Misirlou," still their most iconic instrumental single, Dale is a wonder of an anomaly; as his eager, chaste band sways self-consciously in light blazers and slicked hair, he smirkingly commands front-and-center in a dark suit, jerking his hips in time with his rapid fingers as they dash over his gleaming, upside-down right-handed guitar (Jimi Hendrix would later adopt this southpaw trick). It's truly amazing to see; a year before the British invasion, Dale was already his own rock-'n'-roll tsunami, and surf-rock was evermore sexed-up. And 46 years (and one Pulp Fiction soundtrack) later, he's fleet-fingered as ever. With Jimmy Dale, his son.
Thu., Aug. 27, 9 p.m., 2009