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A 'Sad Day For Rock 'N' Roll': Guitar Legend Dick Dale Dies Aged 81

The legendary guitarist Dick Dale has passed away.

Dale was known for his 1962 hit "Misirlou" -- the blistering surf guitar version of a Middle Eastern folk song whose title translates as 'Egyptian girl'.

The track gained famed for Dale and his band -- the Del Tones -- in the 1960s and rose to prominence once more after Quentin Tarantino used it for the opening titles of his 1994 film,  Pulp Fiction. 

The track was also sampled by Will.i.am for the Black Eyed Peas' 2005 hit, "Pump It".

The Guardian confirmed Dale's passing with the musician's touring bassist, Same Bolle.

Dale's agent also confirmed the sad news to Billboard, commenting that it was a "sad day for rock 'n' roll". 

As well as "Misirlou" Dale was also known for hits "Jungle Fever,", ″Shake-N-Stomp” and “Swingin’ and Surfin’.”

In its 'Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll', Rolling Stone credited Dale as pioneering "a musical genre that Beach Boy Brian Wilson and others would later bring to fruition,” AP reported.

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Celebrities including comedian Seth Rogen, musician Rick Springfield and Public Enemy rapper Chuck D have been paying tribute to Dale on Twitter.

"One I drove an hour and a half to see Dick Dale perform at a horse track, and it was wonderful," wrote Rogen. "RIP".

In a 2015 interview with The Pittsburgh City Paper, Dale revealed that his extensive medical bills had forced him to continue touring well into retirement age.

“I can’t stop touring because I will die,” Dale said, explaining that he had to raise $US3000 every month to pay for medical supplies.

Then aged 78, the musician had lived through rectal cancer twice and was -- at the time of publication -- living with diabetes and renal failure.

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"Sure, I’d love to stay home and build ships in a bottle and spend time with my wife in Hawaii, but I have to perform to save my life,” he said.

“I’ve been living like this for the past 15 years, but I’m still here and opening my eyes each morning," Dale added.

Musician Carl Newman referenced the interview when paying tribute to one of his musical heroes on Twitter while admonishing the state of the health care system in the United States.

Main Image: Getty Images.