Jack White has posted a tribute to Dick Dale, the surf rock pioneer who passed away this past weekend at the age of 81. “I spent many moments learning his massive reverbed guitar licks in my bedroom, and still enjoy playing his song ‘Nitro’ whenever I can,” White wrote on his record label Third Man’s Instagram page.
The former White Stripes frontman continued, “A unique innovator of the guitar with pick melting style and swagger for miles. I can remember traveling up to Pontiac from Detroit by myself to watch him play when I was sixteen. That upside down gold sparkle Fender of his needs to be hung up some place special.”
White, who has performed Dale’s version of the Eastern Mediterranean song “Misirlou” on numerous occasions, joined R.E.M.’s Mike Mills, Queen’s Brian May, Public Enemy’s Chuck D, and Dale’s Del-Tones bandmate Dusty Watson in paying tribute to the guitar icon.
“I was lucky enough to see him play once,” Mills wrote on Instagram. “He broke a high E string, and made a point of saying, ‘That was a .16, not one of those candy-ass .10s.'” May wrote, in part, “We all owe you. Rock on.”
Watch White play “Misirlou” below.