Dick Dale rolls into town about once a year and packs 'em in every time. Most of the people at this show have probably seen him countless times, but this may have been their first chance to see Paul Holland & the Supafuzz. It was a good thing for Dick Dale fans (let's just say it and get it over with: they're called "Dickheads"), and it was a good thing for Paul & Co.
If you like both rock AND blues, you can't go wrong with this band. They are predominantly rock-based, but with a lot of bluesy riffs. Paul Holland & the Supafuzz charge at you hard and fast, holding nothing back. Paul is a fast, clean, multi-award-winning guitar player who knows a lot of licks, yet knows when NOT to throw in too many and clutter things up. Travis Schilling is a monster bass player, and he dealt out the solos to prove it. Rounding out the trio and driving things forward is drummer Josh Wakeman. They played a very classy version of "Little Wing" and also did B.B. King's "Rock Me Baby." The hard-driving Supafuzz originals ("Steam Train," "How Do You Like Me Now," "The Curse" and "Devil in My Head") catch your ear immediately and work their way into your head to stay. Do yourself a favor and turn yourself on to this great local band. You can start by checking out their web site at www.telecide.com/supafuzz
So there we all are, passing the time between bands in the Cabooze, chatting and ordering beverages and not paying much attention to the stage when suddenly out of nowhere came the most ungodly sound you've ever heard. There was no question it was Dick Dale's guitar, and it was L-O-U-D.
Dick came out onto the stage with huge strides, dressed all in black: boots, jeans, a Dick Dale T-shirt, fringed leather jacket, and headband. As always, his long, jet-black (wink) hair was in a ponytail, which blew around behind him when he crossed in front of the fans on stage. He played a gold glitter (not metallic, GLITTER) left-handed Strat; his bass player had a bass guitar to match.
Dick Dale is of course known as the "King of the Surf Guitar", but don't go to see him expecting Ventures/instrumental Beach Boys type of stuff. In fact, he doesn't like the handle that's been put upon him and would rather be known as the "Father of Heavy Metal." Indeed. He uses the heaviest strings known to man and keeps a bucket of ice on stage to dip his fingers into between songs. His playing is loud, precise, and in your face from the first note to the last.
Dale started off with all-out instrumental attacks on "Ghost Riders in the Sky," "Smoke on the Water," "Peter Gunn," and "Fever." He took a brief pause to chide club management about the fact that he is not on one of the large poster-style photographs that line the walls of the Cabooze. He pointed to the one of Buddy Holly and said, "You people fill this place up every time I play here. What do I have to do to get MY photo up there - crash my plane??? That kid used to open for ME!"
The high point of the show would have to be when he tore into "Miserlou." His version of the old Mediterranean folk tune opens the move "Pulp Fiction". Yup, that's Dick Dale. Others included a "Wipe Out"-style "Let's Go Trippin'," a call-and-response segment with a Bo Diddley beat, the old blues standby "Finger Lickin' Good," and an acoustic set that included "Love Me Tender".
Dick says he'll be back again soon. If you've never had a chance to be joyfully assaulted by this man's guitar playing, brace yourself and come on out next time. For now, he's got a web site too and it's a very entertaining read (be sure to check out the tour diary section for some great laughs): www.dickdale.com
This review is copyright © 1999 by Ann Wickstrom, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.