Dick Dale's undeniable contribution to film history

Dick Dale


Deltone Records

Release Date: December 4th, 1962

Words by: Nick Bornholt
March 4th, 1965


This is a song that anyone with even a vague connection to the cinema zeitgeist of the 90s will immediately recognise.

The recognition won't be based on Dick Dale as an artist - few will even know he created this 1962 reworking of the Middle Eastern original. Rather, "Misirlou's" fame and propensity for instant recognition is largely thanks to filmmaker Quentin Tarantino. The song is a quintessential part of the groundbreaking Pulp Fiction, and interpreting it as something independent of that culturally ingrained context is difficult.

Dick Dale's undeniable contribution to film history Opening scene from Pulp Fiction

"Misirlou's" surf-rock instrumentation indeed reeks of the ocean (no doubt inspiring The Beach Boys cover in '63). But outside of that, the song does little other than conjure thoughts of coffee shop robberies and a wallet with 'Bad Mother Fucker' written on it.

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