Ghost Tiger Rider in the Sky

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 31, 2019 05:36pm | Post a Comment

Dick Dale Tiger

By Kai Wada Roath
Ambassador of Confusion Hill and host of the Super Shangri-La Show

When I was a young lad of 18, I went to see Dick Dale on his Tribal Thunder tour. He was amazing, yet he was also the most boastful "showboat" I had ever seen on a stage. After the show, like many others, I went to get his autograph on the back of an old Esmeralda Fortune Teller’s card. When it was my turn in line, he stopped his autographing routine, put his hands firmly on both my shoulders, looked me straight in my eyes, and started telling me intensely about how one of his pet tigers recently died, and that when he was holding his beloved giant cat during its passing he too ventured to where the animal's spirit was heading.

It was only darkness he saw, there was no vision of the tunnel of light that he had been told about time and again, and from that moment on he was now scared of death and had doubts about the afterlife. Eventually he took his hands off me, signed my card, and went back to handing out his signed picks to the waiting bewildered line of fans behind me, who questioned me after about what he was talking to me about. I The Phantom Surfers & Dick Dalewondered recently, where did his spirit go when it left this Earthly plane? I like to think he is now riding on his tiger with his guitar swung around his back, like He-Man atop Battle Cat, similar to a Frank Frazetta painting. A ghost tiger rider in the sky.

There are many Dick Dale albums, but to me there are none that can compare to the ones with him and The Phantom Surfers...or should I say, The Phantom Surfers and him. This prized album was released in 1996 by Crown Records and is more sought after than a free Bart ride to Antioch. If you score an unopened or used copy of this one here at Amoeba, you should probably go put some money on the ponies at Golden Gate Fields the same day while your luck is rolling.

But as Sinead would say, "Nothing compares...nothing compares" to this ultra-rare '45, released by Planet Pimp Records. Yes, the same wonderful label that brought us the joys as such titles as Fuck You Spaceman!, Sounds of the San Francisco Adult Bookstores, Winners of the World's Worst Rap Compitition, and the soudtrack from Blood Orgy of the Leather Girls.

Perhaps my favorite Dick Dale musical compisition is from Tomorrow Land. Any song that makes me feel like I am flying in outer space sounds good to me really.

I love surf music, don't get me wrong, but it is bands like Los Belkings from Peru, Takeshi Terauchi & The TrashWomenThe Bunnys from Japan, and Los Relempagos from Spain that dip my sandwich in the au jus. Of course I could never overlook the panting pleasure of listening to The TrashWomen!

Go see those amazing masked wonders, the Phantom Surfers, at the Burger Boogaloo this July 6-7th in Oakland.

Plus, be sure to fly in or out of the San Francisco Airport in 2020, as the SFO Museum will be having a supreme exhibit up of instrumental and surf music collections to astonish the passing traveler.

P.S. Although Dick Dale made "Miserlou" famous in 1962, my favorite version is still from Korla Pandit, "the Genie of the Keys," back in 1951.

Relevant Tags

Takeshi Terauchi & The Bunnys (1), Los Belkings (2), Burger Boogaloo (15), The Trashwomen (3), The Phantom Surfers (6), Tigers (2), Surf Music (6), Kai Wada Roath (43), Dick Dale (3), Los Relempagos (1), Korla Pandit (7)