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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink Dick Dale gear and other cool stuff at Pheonix museum. My visit.

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I just got back from a vacation in Arizona where, among other things, I made a visit to the very impressive Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. The museum is heavy on ethnomusicology, but I was surprised by a very nice display on Dick Dale. It features a blonde/brown face reverb unit and 2x15 Showman setup along with his Custom Shop signature Stratocaster:
Also this prototype Fender Contempo organ belonging to DD:
Among some other displays elsewhere, here is an immaculate '63 in Foam Green! (it looks blue in my picture). Refin? I don't know. Stunning guitar. So clean, I thought it must be a reissue...but it isn't.
This Gretsch is the one Duane Eddy used to record so many of his early classic hits on.
Here is the mixing console from the Phoenix studio where he recorded those hits. The placard mentions "Rebel Rouser", but obviously so many more. There was also a display to Lee Hazelwood nearby.

Surf music was mentioned elsewhere, with video of Dick Dale playing Miserlou (the old footage with the Del Tones we have seen beginning with his then white Strat "floating" in the dark at the beginning) and even some Ventures footage of them performing Wipe Out. Given the breadth of the musical history and traditions covered in this huge museum, I thought that was pretty cool. Check it out if you are in the area.

Very interesting items. However, the foam green Strat is not a '63, unless it went throuhg some ofthe original owner's mods,and as you suggested, a refin. The decal on the headstock is wrong (should have pat.nos.), and the two string trees aren't right....but it still looks cool!

I've been to the MIM in Phoenix and it is well worth a visit. The Dick Dale stuff was cool and also saw Clapton's Brownie.

My favorite was a six string electric guitar built from a one gallon oil can in some third world country. I was with a friend who built hot rods who wanted one of those bad. I got him a neck, PUs a bridge, pots etc. and sent them to him in Ohio. He found a nice "GULF" oil can in good shape. Blue and orange, it looked great. Sadly he pass on before he could build the oil can guitar. Someday his daughters will send the pieces to me so the instrument can be built in his honor and sent to his kids as a memory.

Keep it Drippy Brothers and Sisters!

Thanks for the report, Scott.

Here is the 411...

Musical Instrument Museum
4725 E. Mayo Blvd.
Phoenix, AZ 85050

(Although, I don't know how they can possibly claim with a straight face to be "The World's Only Global Musical Instrument Museum?")

Insect Surfers
The Tikiyaki Orchestra
Fiberglass Jungle Radio

Last edited: Mar 13, 2014 16:42:16

Thanks Scott!

Site dude - S3 Agent #202
Need help with the site? SG101 FAQ - Send me a private message - Email me

"It starts... when it begins" -- Ralf Kilauea

You are welcome. And Jonpaul, thanks for adding the address and link. Hammond101, the oil can guitars were very cool. In fact, I was constantly amazed by man's creative ability to create music out of the materials they had to work with.

Good eye, Stratorama. I did remember that the placard for the Foam Green Strat says that it was used on Ramones recordings. I googled it and got a hit. It is a refin--ironically, back to the original color! It had previously been stripped and given a psychedelic paint job a la George Harrison's "Rocky" sometime in the late 60s. Here's more...

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