A Guitar Legend Came to Town: Dick Dale at the Acapulco Venue (April 9th).
Maybe because Gijón is a Surf City with a long surf beach at his heart, probably too there are many guitar lovers (Xixón Sound) – and surely both reasons -, Acapulco Venue had a sold out tickets gig last Friday even though the artist was not very famous outside of connoisseurs gangs.
This was clearly proof till the beginning of the show. Just the fourth song and the partners were completely enchanted with the magic of Dick Dale and the power of his band. I´ve never thought in a “power trio” to play surf music and with Dale it works, some merit has to be recognized for the band, a drummer that reminds Ginger Baker and a bassist that could play melodies just like young Jack Cassady. Dick Dale style reminds steel guitar players picking fret chords, and this is too personal and highly spectacular. I think that he had developed that way because by the time he learnt to play there were no left-handed guitars. Anyway there´s a lot of charm with it and is peculiar.
The pure Surf sounds where represented with “Mr. Pippermint” and “Let´s go Trippin”, an instrumental exercise on “Peter Gunn” meddley with “Smoke on the Water”, an absolutely genial country flavoured “Riders in the Sky”, and this jewish-sefardi cozmic recreation jewell of “Misirlou” that Tarantino made world famous with Pulp Fiction´s soundtrack.
The set was more than a concert for me. Just like a contemporary West Coast Music seminar presentation where Dick showed the connections between Surf Music and Spanish tradition – just like The Doors and Love have done (other greats from California) – with a “Spanish Kiss” and “Aranjuez Concierto” jamming; with blues, a cover of “House of Rising Sun” heated high the audience (while he played “Fever” on the bass frets with the drumsticks¡¡¡), be-bop and Bo Diddley, just when Dick played the trumpet; gospel and psychedelia, a superb “Amazing Grace” preceded a truly rendition of Jimmy Hendrix “Are you experienced” that ended the show. And of course, psychedelic landslide ended the surf dream (Where all the fun songs goes?), but the show must go on.
Long live Dick Dale.