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ROCK ON! This Week's Sound Bites...7/30/15

By Danny Coleman

originally published: 07/31/2015
"In 1955 I brought the first surf board to Wildwood, New Jersey. I was playing the Rainbow Bar and I'll not forget that Fats Domino was performing across the street. I brought that surf board in and people looked at me like I was crazy, they'd never seen anything like it; I had to get permission from the police to take it in the water because it was considered a weapon," explains the father of "Surf Rock" Dick Dale. 
Dale brings his freewheeling, rip roaring guitar back to the Jersey Shore on August 8 with a one night only engagement at the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park. Dale still maintains a touring schedule that would make even the most ardent of rockers half his 78 years  of age wilt. With almost nightly shows, some in cities and towns hundreds of miles or sometimes states apart; Dale shows no signs of slowing down. "Twenty years ago they told my wife that I'd probably not make it off of the operating table," he lamented as he currently battles rectal cancer for a third time. "When I was twenty I was told that I had three months to live; guess what? I'm still here aren't I? I have to tour, I have to play; it's a matter of life and death for me. I have a $3,000 per month bill to pay for a stoma bag which needs to be changed daily or I die. Many people who have similar or other illnesses can't even get out of bed but I'm lucky. I said it before; I was supposed to be dead twenty years ago but I made changes. I don't drink, don't smoke or do drugs and I don't eat red meat; what I put in my body has saved me. Look, I'll never stay home and build that ship in a bottle and I truly feel that our maker has chosen me to set an example for young people; kind of like a Johnny Appleseed. If I can engage them and they get well or look at life differently; then I have done my job one town, one show at a time. I don't like musicians because I think they set a bad example for our young people. I'm not a musician, I can't tell the difference between a ninth chord and any other chord but I can play any instrument put in front of me. I take the young kids who come to my shows and ask me to show them how to play and I sit them down and say, "First let me clear your mind because you have to have an open mind to learn." "My wife Lana is my booking agent and handles all the press; she has M.S but we try to show people that you can get through the pain. When people see me on stage and realize what I am battling through, I hope that it makes their pain a bit easier to take. Lana tries to book my shows accordingly to work with both my illness and our schedules. You need a sense of humor in this business and despite your troubles; be able to laugh at yourself. I may be on the other side of youth but I've never seen anyone walk away after a Dick Dale show and say, "That guy sucks!" 
Dale is an avid surfer and is widely known as "The King of The Surf Guitar." Born in Massachusetts, he moved to California after his junior year in high school and took up the art of the long board. Already an accomplished player of the piano, ukulele, guitar, drums and trumpet; Dale was captivated with sounds. Deriving his fierce picking style and unique sound from listening to drummers and wild animals, he found that recreating them and their rhythmic, at times aggressive sound patterns, was just what he needed. "I view music and touring as an instrument to make people feel better," he explained with enthusiasm. "I play my music like I think and feel; from the sounds I hear in my head. Gene Krupa was an unbelievable drummer; his beats, his feel and the way he wrote drove people to move. I wanted my music to be that way, I wanted to play those tribal drum beats on my guitar. When I was nine, I think I was nine, maybe younger, my dad actually shoved me on stage and left me there; it was a real sink or swim moment. Lucky for me I swam and never looked back. When I go on stage, I've never used a list. I just get on stage and play. I play to those rhythms that the animals make, those sounds that I'd hear at night. Lana will feed the coyotes near our home; she'll feed them and their babies. Their cries, the way they communicate when hungry or defensive inspire me and always has. I worked with Liberace in Vegas and I learned from him that you don't play to or for your band; you play to the people. Krupa, Louie Armstrong; these guys were entertainers. There is a difference between a musician and an entertainer and boy are they different. So I try and make my music different by using a style that has served me pretty well." 
That "Style" has resulted in multiple song placements in television commercials, on shows and in movies like "Pulp Fiction" and "Escape From L.A." as well as appearances and soundtrack contributions to films such as "A Swinging Affair," "Beach Party," "Muscle Beach Party," "Back To The Beach," the last three starring Annette Funacello and Frankie Avalon as well as "Let's Make Love," starring the late great seductive, sexy actress Marilyn Monroe. Dale has also won multiple awards and garnered nominations for a Grammy, has his music placed in the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame and earned the title "Forefather of Rock 'N' Roll. He has been inducted into the "White House Congressional Hall of Records," the "Hollywood Walk of Fame," received a plethora of lifetime achievement awards and even played atop Disney's Space Mountain in 1998. Dale is also responsible for assisting his good friend Leo Fender in the adaptation of the Fender Stratocaster and amplification. Fender came upon Dale and asked him to play his "New creation," the "Strat" and what happened next had Fender laughing. Dale, a left handed player, took a right handed guitar and turned it "Upside down and backwards" and began playing; transposing the chords and leads in his head as he worked the fret board. "I saw Jimi Hendrix one night playing left handed bass for Little Richard, he and I talked and I showed him how I played my guitar;  he got a good laugh but he learned a little something too," laughed Dale. Fender gave his friend amplifiers by the dozens; each one causing Leo to re-evaluate his creation. Dale "Blew Up" many of the amps and even had one catch on fire from the intense volume and drive with which he performed. This experimentation led to the development and Fender partnering with JBL  speakers and even the creation of the Fender "Tank Reverb" feature. 
Perhaps a bit more reserved but still as aggressive, Dale uses his talents and name to promote wellness, love and great music which brings  an audience together. "I use music as a gathering source. No matter what genre I play, be it country, rock, jazz, surf style; I use it to bring people together for a good time and to share in something special. I try to be the best that I can be at no matter what I do. When I was a kid, I worked in a bakery, I dug clams, I worked digging ditches; I made twelve cents and five cents an hour at those jobs but I wanted to know everything I could about the job from start to finish. I'm the kind of guy, where if I worked in a car wash; I'd want to do everything in that car wash so that I could learn everything there is to know about the job so that if needed I could run the place. This is why I talk to kids, even while I'm on stage; do yo think kids today would do what I did for the money that I just talked about? I try and teach values and hard work and press that we all should try and do something for somebody for nothing and just for the gratification of doing something nice for somebody; when's the last time anyone has tried that?"
Dick dale calls himself a "Jack of all trades" but he will be the first to admit that he masters none as he views his playing and life in general as an ever evolving learning process. "Life is a learning experience and when you refuse to learn from your mistakes or stop trying to do what's right you should probably be dead," he laughed. "Life is like walking a mine field; you have to watch your step. I go out and help people; learning all along the way. I try to do so through music and without stepping on any toes and if I can do that; then I have succeeded."
Dick Dale rides a wave of popularity into the Wonder Bar located on the corner of Fifth & Ocean Avenues in Asbury Park, NJ. Tickets for this August 8 event featuring The Coffin Daggers and Black Flamingos as opening acts are $30 in advance or $35 at the door and the doors open at 7:30 p.m. 
To learn more about Dick Dale; please visit 
That's it for this week! Please continue to support live and original music and until next week....ROCK ON!


Alchemist & Barrister

28 Witherspoon Street Princeton

(609) 924-5555


Thurs. 10 p.m. Mike & Laura

Sun. 9 p.m. (TBA)

All shows 21+

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Amarones Windsor Inn

29 Church St. Windsor


(609) 448-7144


Fri. 8 p.m. Sounds of The Street

Sat. 8 p.m. After Dark


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Blend Bar & Bistro

911 Highway 33, Hamilton

(609) 245-8887


Tues. 8 p.m. Triviajam 


The Backstage at Championship Bar 

931 Chambers St. Trenton


Fri. 7 p.m. Crescent Ave., From Below, (TBA). All ages, $10

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Sat. 7 p.m. Eye of The Destroyer, We...Our War, Oraculum, Carnavarice Breath. All ages, $10


Candlelight Lounge 

24 Passaic St. Trenton

(609) 695-9612


Sat. 3 p.m. Daryl Yokley Sax Quartet. (No cover-$10 minimum)


Chickie's & Pete's

183 US Highway 130 North Bordentown

(609) 298-9182


Tues. 8 p.m. Acoustic Music Night feat. The Dawgs

Wed. 9 p.m. Trivia Night


Dog & Bull Brew House

810 Bristol Pike (Rte. 13) Croydon, PA.

(215) 788-2855


Thurs. 8 p.m. The Jangle Experience

Fri. (4 p.m.) "Happy Hour Jam" feat. Visoon (9 p.m.) Big Soul Chicken

Sat. (11 a.m.) "Saturday Brunch Jam" feat. Dave Dzubinski  (9 p.m.) Visoon

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info

Sun. (11 a.m.) "Sunday Brunch" feat. Dick Gratton  (3 p.m.) Tommy Griggz

Mon. 8 p.m. The Keith Lesnik Trio

Tues. 8 p.m. Nytrous

Wed. 8 p.m. Joe Robinson


Fran's Pub

116 S. Main St. New Hope, PA.



Thurs. 9 p.m. Curtain Call

Mon. 8 p.m. Open Blues Jam

All shows 21+  


Halo Pub

9 Hullfish Street Princeton

(609) 921-1710


Sat. 6 p.m. Dick Gratton


Havana New Hope

105 S. Main Street. New Hope, Pa. 

(215) 862-9897

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info


Thurs. 10 p.m. "Beat The Clock" College Night DJ Dance Party

Fri. 8 p.m. Best of The Eagles. Doors at 6 p.m., $25

Sat. 8:30 p.m. Hot D

Sun. 2 p.m. Midnight Sun

Mon. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Ron

Tues. 7 p.m. "A Taste of Artistry" Paint and Sip Night

Wed. 8 p.m. Pat Foran & Friends


Ivy Tavern 

3108 S. Broad Street, Hamilton

(609) 888-1435


Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke

Fri. 10 p.m. Gunsmoke

Sat. 10 p.m. Papa Delux

All shows 21+


John & Peter's 

96 S. Main St. New Hope, Pa.

(215) 862-5981


Fri. 9 p.m. Keith Kenny

Sat. (3 p.m.) 15th Century Moxie (9 p.m.) Vinyl Approach

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Sun. (3 p.m.) Little Leslie & The Bloodshots  (9 p.m.) The Naturalists

Mon. 9 p.m. Open Mic. w/ Tim

Wed. 9:30 p.m. The Invitational

All shows 21+


JoJo's Tavern

2677 Nottingham Way Hamilton

(609) 586-2678


Wed. 10 p.m. Karaoke


Palermo's Of Hamilton

310 Klockner Rd. Hamilton

(609) 838-7979


Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke

Sat. 9 p.m. Radio Fiction

All shows 21+ 


Patriot's Crossing

1339 River Rd. Titusville

(609) 737-2780


Fri. 7:30 p.m. Just Us

Sat. 7:30 p.m. Riverdogs


Pete's Steak House

523 Whitehorse Ave. Hamilton

(609) 585-8008


Fri. 9:30 p.m. Infinite Bandwidth

Sat. 9:30 p.m. (TBA)


Randy Now's Man Cave

134 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown

(609) 424-3766


Please Check web Page for Events


RHO Waterfront

50 Riverview Plaza Trenton

(609) 393-7300


Fri. (4 p.m.) Happy Hour Buffet. $10 (8:30 p.m.) The Soul Cruisers

Tavern On The Lake

101 Main St. Hightstown

(609) 426-9345


Wed. 8 p.m. Karaoke Night 


The Cool Cricket

216 4th St. Fieldsboro

(609) 291-9110


Sat. 9 p.m.  Dirty Red


The HOB Tavern

146 Second Street

(609) 291-7020


Sat. 9 p.m. Karaoke


The Ivy Inn

248 Nassau St. Princeton

(609) 921-8555


Thurs. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Ron

Fri. 10 p.m. Jam Lab

Sat. 10 p.m. DJ Fatha Ramzee

Tues. 8 p.m. Quizzo w/ Bob E Luv

Wed. (8:30 p.m.) Tune Trivia (10:30 p.m.) DJ Rockn Ron


The Sticky Wicket 

2465 South Broad St. Hamilton

(609) 439-0007


Fri. 9 p.m. It Starts With ST

Sat. 9 p.m. Never Enough


The Sun National Bank Center 

81 Hamilton Ave. Trenton

(609) 656-3200


Check web site for upcoming events


Tir Na Nog 

1324 Hamilton Ave. Trenton

(609) 392-2554


Fri. 9 p.m. Bill Shannon

Sat. 9 p.m. Oliver McElhone

Sun. 3 p.m. "Irish Sessions" w/ Kathy DeAngelo & Dennis Gormley

All shows  21+

Trenton Buzz

702 Pine St. Trenton

(609) 392-6000


Thurs. 8 p.m. Open Mic. w/ Hek Cat


Trenton Social

449 South Broad Street Trenton

(609) 989-7777


Thurs. 8:30 p.m. Cinema Thursday Presents: (TBA)

Fri. 7 p.m. First Friday

Mon. 10 p.m. Service Industry Night w/ DJ-Jay Kountree 

Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic.


Triumph Brewing Company (New Hope, Pa. Location)

400 Union Square New Hope, Pa.

(215) 862-8300


Fri. 10 p.m. Elison Jackson w/ Mobile Steam Unit. ($5 cover charge)

Sat. 10 p.m. La Capitana. ($5 cover charge)

Sun. 7 p.m. Open Jam Night

All shows 21+


Wildflowers Inn

2572 Pennington Rd. Pennington

Sat. 9 p.m. Acoustic Rock 

All shows 21+

Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 7:000pm EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.



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