Music Tuesday: Miserlou

Dick Dale and the Del Tones — Misirlou

You probably know it as a 60s surfer theme, the iconic ad track for 1994’s Pulp Fiction, or a face-melting tune from Guitar Hero III. But way before it was adapted to the California vibe, Misirlou was a 1927 Greek dance song about an interracial love affair.

The song was adapted in the 1940s and in the 50s became a line-dancing phenomenon in Greek-American clubs. When a young Lebanese-Polish guitarist got hold of the tune with his Fender in 1962 and ran it through an amp with reverberation, Misirlou was reborn.

That guitarist, Dick Dale, was among the early electric pioneers, and the sound caught on when the Beach Boys picked up the song in 1963 on the Surfin’ USA LP.

After decades of experimentation with his equipment and the tune, Dale has moved Misirlou from folk to shredded licks. Go, old guy! Go!

I refuse to post it here, but the sound was even re-molded to R&B for the Black Eyed Peas song, Pump It, which I begrudgingly like.


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