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July 05, 2009

The Extraordinary Dick Dale

photo from Dick Dale's website.

Last night I went to a concert I'll never forget.

It was one of those evenings that was too outstanding to describe. And, I'm ashamed to admit that until last night I didn't even know who Dick Dale was. (The Ventures and "wipe out", The Opening Sound track to the movie, Pulp Fiction, Surf Music from the 50s.)

Ron and Maryann (friends of Karen's) were on island camping and got in touch with me. I was thinking about going to the concert just because I'd heard good things about him in a way that made me think that it might be really worth seeing, but had they not got in touch with me, I probably wouldn't have gone and I honestly, without exaggeration may have missed the most memorable evening I can ever recall having at a concert.

The guy, (72 going on 50), has the most amazing talent, charisma, stories and he just wouldn't stop. (The guy's even a pilot and has his own landing strip at his Sky Ranch). He was on that stage for at least 2 hours non stop if not 2.5. As he would say, it was "bitchin'" and in a way that of course you can't help but laugh every time he says it.

It wasn't sold out. The tickets only cost $28.50. He had an opening band that played a few short sets including his 17 year old son, Jimmy Dale, who has amazing musical talent on drums.

The best part was that he seemed to be having a blast. It was like he didn't want to get off the stage. He just kept telling more stories, playing more, hammin it up.

He kept referring to the experience as being "in the living room" which is kind of what it's like when you're in ArtSpring because it only seats about 250 people and the stage is right there. He was no more than 8 feet from where I was sitting. It felt like he was in the living room.

I was on the left side in about the 3rd row on the center aisle and managed to get a seat right behind Ron and Maryann. So, at some point, what feels like maybe 1.5 hours into him entertaining us, he leaves the stage, keeps playing, walks up one side, goes out the door and begins to descend the stairs towards the stage on the side we're on.

He comes down and stops right beside me, playing the whole time, leans over and of course what am I supposed to do but the natural thing which is give him a kiss on the cheek. He looks at me and hands over one of his guitar pics.

I'm so glad Ron and Maryann were there to witness what I witnessed because I can't even describe it. He's 72. He's has amazing charisma. Energy. And, he just recovered in the past year from colon cancer but he says it's "the audience" that's his medicine.

When he finally wrapped up, and came out into the lobby to sign CDs, posters and even one guy's forehead, Randy Bachman was leaving and Bachman's wife snapped a photo of Randy beside Dick Dale.

I was standing outside and even before that I was thinking to myself, who can I give this pic to and I was thinking I could give it to Randy Bachman, so that's what I did.

He passed me on the way out and I just said to him, Do you want this? He just said sorta confused, "Is it his?" I said "Ya, I'm sure it will mean more to you than it does to me," and I handed it over. He said thanks very appreciatively and that was my evening.

I could have hung onto it but for what? I have the memory of an unforgettable evening of music and of a real talent. (The guy played the trumpet and the drums as well). Let's face it, I dont play the guitar. I'm not someone who "collects" things from famous people or in general. What was I going to do with it?

It makes me happy to think that Randy Bachman might actually play one of his guitars using one of Dick Dale's pics all because of me!

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