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Dick Dale's undeniable contribution to film history

Dick Dale

Misirlou

Released: December 4th, 1962

Tracks Dick Dale

The events we write about at Gaslight Records happened in some form or another 50 years ago to the day. Roll along with us and imagine you are back in 1969.

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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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