I shall possess within the veil, a life of joy and peace.
February 24, 2012 9:50 PM   Subscribe

The legendary Dick Dale covers Amazing Grace, 12/09 in a Studio Session on NPR's KEXP.

The Rest of the Set
The Wedge, Esperanza, Misirlou, Nitro and Taco Wagon. (Playlist / Audio Only)

Related stories on NPR
* Weekend Edition: 'Misirlou,' from Klezmer to Surf Guitar ("Can you play a song on a single string?" They trace the origins of the tune. Previously on Mefi: Misirlou)
* Weekend Edition: (interview) Dick Dale's Guitar Screams With Pain And Pleasure

Amazing Grace
Dick's been playing Amazing Grace in concert recently, often with his son Jimmy.
"I'll play this until all of our boys come home. They are there protecting us, so it does not happen here. May God bless them. This is for them."
Some audience footage:
* 2004,
* 2009 (This one's a medley of Amazing Grace, Misirlou and Hendrix' Third Stone From the Sun)
* 2010 I
* 2010 II
* 2011 (sound quality on this isn't great, but excellent closeup of his hands.)

* 1963, Misirlou
posted by zarq (22 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
That was awesome! Up until this moment I had no idea he was playing a right handed guitar left handed. That makes SO much sense as to why he sounds like that.
posted by hanoixan at 9:56 PM on February 24, 2012

I shot DD a bunch of years ago on assignment. I'd never actually seen him before and although the room was pretty empty, it was a really great show.
posted by blaneyphoto at 9:59 PM on February 24, 2012 [3 favorites]

Blaney, those are great stills!! You really captured him.

hanoixan, I actually didn't notice that it wasn't a left handed guitar until I spotted these two Youtube comments:
vanilla90210: actually if you look.... and this will blow your mind.. the´╗┐ tuners are on top .. so it's a left handed guitar..... tuned like a right handed guitar... booom mind blown.... it's not a right handed guitar flipped over.. its a left handed guitar strung like a right handed played like a left handed.... and if you need to confirm´╗┐ this.. also look at the lower cutaway... on the bottom where it should be for a left handed guitar
posted by zarq at 10:02 PM on February 24, 2012

Dick Dale is the nicest rock legend I have ever personally met. My wife and I saw him play an outstanding set several years ago - afterwards, he came out to personally chat with the fans and give autographs, and he refused to sign my wife's handmade Route 66 jacket ("That's too nice, man! I can't wreck that!"). Great guy, and truly a one of a kind.
posted by Curious Artificer at 10:10 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

This is fantastic; loved the bassist, he was totally there with Dale the whole way, it was amazing.

Also, you really should add a tag of "KEXP", because honestly this station is a national treasure. Their unfettered DJs, their online presence so early in the internet radio era, and their unbelievable live in-studio sets like this one... they almost deserve a FPP just about the station.

So if anyone reading this is new to KEXP, do yourself a favor and spend tonight going through youtube and watching live sets for the many, many acts that have come through those halls. Almost without fail, their (often acoustic) versions of their songs will make the studio versions you're familiar with seem pale and empty by comparison.
posted by hincandenza at 10:13 PM on February 24, 2012 [5 favorites]

hincandenza: "Also, you really should add a tag of "KEXP", because honestly this station is a national treasure. "

Agreed. Done. Nice catch, thanks!

"spend tonight going through youtube"

Their channel is here.

they almost deserve a FPP just about the station.

I've actually been considering doing one for a while, but to be honest, there's so much content that it's a little overwhelming. Lots of history, great studio sessions, and their stuff at SXSW make an FPP overview a daunting task. Plus, I just *know* I'd get sucked in and have to watch hundreds of videos in the process!) :D
posted by zarq at 10:23 PM on February 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

Holy shit.
posted by LarryC at 10:23 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

...there's so much content that it's a little overwhelming.

Get filthy light thief to do it then.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:26 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Good idea. He'd do a fantastic job. Will take it up with him.
posted by zarq at 10:35 PM on February 24, 2012

Right handed guitar upside down.

Legendary is right. Dale is one of the mad geniuses of rock and roll, a true American hero in the classic sense. Its actually hard to think of someone who surpasses him. Hendrix? Certainly no living guitar player. The guy invented his own style and permanently altered the sound of popular electric guitar music. I think he's actually fairly crazy, and this may have always been the case with him. I've been to maybe a thousand rock shows in my life, from The Rolling Stones in a stadium to Husker Du at a dive bar and seeing Dick Dale is probably the most palpably close I've ever personally been to rock and roll history.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:51 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

That was the most awe-inspiring version of Misirlou I've ever heard...if he's always this good live it's a wonder he doesn't play some of the bigger venues around the country. Glad I still have all my old DD albums from the 1960's!
posted by motown missile at 11:10 PM on February 24, 2012

Certainly no living guitar player

*ahem* Jimmy Page *ahem*

But no argument that Dale is a legend. I saw him for my friend's birthday at, of all places, Jon Lovitz's comedy club at Universal Citywalk. Afterwards some people got the much-coveted-but-rarely-seen Lovitz/Dale autograph combo.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:17 PM on February 24, 2012

ps During that show he mentioned how he had recovered from cancer but he doesn't believe he painkillers so he went through treatment without any painkillers(!!!!)
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:26 PM on February 24, 2012

There was a podcast I used to listen to before it folded (Shit Parade) that had a guest on an episode who had formerly roadied for Dick Dale. I can't find the episode for download anymore. Nonetheless, I remember learning that Dick Dale:

-Still has ladies in various ports of call (regulars who are his own age)
-Is Boston as Boston can be
-Lives a weird desert existence when not touring
-Answers the phone as someone who is not Dick Dale and then when asked to speak with Dick Dale, will then shout for Dick Dale to come to the phone... wait a number of seconds, and then proceed as Dick Dale in the exact same Dick Dale voice as the man who answered the phone.
posted by basicchannel at 11:39 PM on February 24, 2012

Oh on that last point: Imagine the thickest Bostonian accent this side of a meth-addled Mark Wahlberg describing his ideal hijacker fantasy.
posted by basicchannel at 11:41 PM on February 24, 2012

You mean Seattle's KEXP.
posted by mediated self at 12:53 AM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Hearing Dale's rendition of Amazing Grace, I can't help but hear similarities to Will the Circle Be Unbroken?. My cursory googling reveals nothing - is there a concrete connection here?
posted by 0xFCAF at 1:29 AM on February 25, 2012

The melodies for "Amazing Grace" and "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" are both built on a the major pentatonic scale, so they sound somewhat similar. The accompanying chord progressions are also very similar.
posted by straight at 3:12 AM on February 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

That song is my second most hated song of all time, in the entire universe (Girl From Ipanema is number one) and I thought that version just made a terrible song even worse. Horrible scratchy, tinny guitar (which can be fine, but not here) and just... man, it was awful. Just awful.

I have spoken. Again.
posted by Decani at 3:27 PM on February 25, 2012

posted by Mavri at 6:16 PM on February 25, 2012

I have spoken. Again.

We see that.

We're all waiting for the day when you actually say something positive about something.
posted by hippybear at 8:07 PM on February 25, 2012 [3 favorites]

Yeah, KEXP is not 'NPR's'. Good post though.
posted by daHIFI at 7:38 PM on February 26, 2012

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