Jul 26,2014: Hermosa Beach Farmers Market

Market Hours:
Year Round
Friday  12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Location: 11th Street, 1035 Valley Dr., Hermosa Beach, 90254

Manhattan Beach California Area Articles

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Jul 25,2014: Tubby

Hometown: Ashland, Or

Genres: World/Reggae / Ska / Rocksteady

Members: Brian Zach, Clay Baker, T.J. Eilers, Aaron Reed, Thomas Mackay The word synergy means: Forces coming together to be greater in magnitude than the sum of their separate parts. We, the band SYNRGY, try to take this definition into the realm of the music we create, and our relationship with our audience.

We formed in Flagstaff Arizona in Spring of 2007. After becoming one of the most locally recognized bands in the area, we decided to spread our wings into the bigger skies to the West. We relocated to Humboldt County California in Summer of 2008, to embrace the culture that only Northern California had to offer.

In early 2010, we released our first studio album “Live in Love”. Live in Love has 11 original SYNRGY tracks including hits such as: Breaking All The Rules, Good Dog Down, Sincerely Guilty and Tell Me Why.

In spring of 2010, SYNRGY’s Lead Singer, Brian Zach, released an 18 track acoustic album called “Dream On.” Dream On includes songs such as Hypocracy, Bombs Away, Blow Those Clouds Away, and Back To Where I Came.

Live in Love and Dream On are both available for sale on Itunes. Since the albums release, we have been touring aggressively through out the Western United States, enjoying the wonderful friends and family that music has provided.

With a backbone of Reggae, limbs and organs of Funk, Rock, Ska, and Rock-Steady, SYNRGY is a high energy treat for any live music lover. We demand movement from our audiences, which makes our shows an experience few forget. The conscious messages entwined in the songs aspire to inspire the minds of all who can perceive them. With your help, Synrgy is stronger. Join in with SYNRGY.

“Love will grow wherever you shine the light. So shine, we choose to shine. Because we are the strong, We Live in Love.” –(Live in Love lyrics)

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AmericanTown’s Heroes: Dog Scouts Help People Live in Harmony

Did you know there is an organization dedicated to responsible dog ownership? It’s not like the Humane Society or the ASPCA. They don’t shelter dogs or put them up for adoption. The organization is called Dog Scouts of America and their mission is “to improve the lives of dogs, their owners, and society through humane education, positive training, and community involvement.”

Read more Dog Scouts Help People Live in Harmony.

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AmericanTown’s Heroes: The Blue Ocean Society Protects Marine Mammals

You may have heard of Boyan Slat, he’s the young man who came up with an idea that could harvest the plastic swirling in the world’s oceans. It’s an ambitious project that he’s been gaining support for over the past few years. It’s called The Ocean Cleanup and it’s currently in a fundraising stage having completed a feasibility study. Boyan is from Delft in the Netherlands, but he’s not the only one trying to mobilize support for cleaner oceans. Thankfully, there are numerous efforts underway in the United States, like the work of The Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation whose name leaves no mystery about their mission. 

Read more The Blue Ocean Society Protects Marine Mammals.

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Jul 24,2014: Cubensis

Since 1987, Los Angeles-based band Cubensis has carried the torch in celebration of one of America’s most beloved touring bands, the Grateful Dead. Cubensis sets out to re-create the Grateful Dead experience by emulating the sounds of Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, and the rest of the legendary San Francisco jam band. Cubensis plays completely spontaneous shows covering all eras of the Grateful Dead, and no night is ever the same. Cubensis is far more than just your standard cover band as they bring the magic and sounds to those longing for the live vibe that only the Grateful Dead was able to deliver. The group has been acclaimed for giving new life to the Grateful Dead’s material, bringing in new styles, new innovations, and new jam band fans, while at the same time remaining loyal to the original music and the original fans.

CUBENSIS brings the Grateful Dead concert experience back to life. Drawing from all eras of the Dead, the band performs a three-hour set of Grateful Dead and JGB classics that retains all the spontaneous exploratory jamming for which the bands were renown. However, the music produced is uniquely Cubensis.

Here, you won’t find the band wearing wigs and fake beards to re-create the Dead experience, unlike Beatlemania. “We don’t strive to play Dead tunes note-for-note,” explains Cubensis guitarist Craig Marshall. “We use the music as a skeleton, and then we flesh it out with our own improvisations. The Dead did that every time they played, and we find it to be a perfect model for our shows. The fans agree. They love hearing Cubensis-flavored Dead.”

The group is drawing national attention with their true-to-life performances. LA Weekly recently raved, “Cubensis plays with the same laid-back mastery as the real McCoy.” The LA Times declared “As the tribute to one of the ultimate jam bands, their set lists are as free and frollicky as the crowd.” Big Brother skateboard magazine says Cubensis is “the nation’s premiere Dead tribute” and the OC Weekly declared them “the hottest Grateful Dead tribute act going.” OC Register affirmed Cubensis was “the best place to channel Jerry Garcia” and AOL Citybeat stated, “Cubensis is renown for whipping its faithful crowd into a swirling, psychedelic mass for three hours straight.”

Cubensis has been pleased to find their most enthusiastic supporters are those who never got a chance to see the Grateful Dead in person, and wonder what they missed. Seasoned “Deadheads” come out to relive the great shows gone by, and as a result, the band is in great demand, performing over 150 shows a year throughout the Southwest. Cubensis was given specific permission by Jerry Garcia to perform the Dead’s music. Garcia’s only request was “do a good job of it.” Ever since, CUBENSIS has promised authenticity and delivers pure Grateful Dead-inspired music like it was meant to be heard, keeping the Dead alive and re-creating the magic one show at a time. Don’t miss it!

Manhattan Beach California Area Articles

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Rooftops Newsletter: Fighting for a hunger free state

With nearly one in seven seniors in Colorado facing the threat of hunger, services from Hunger Free Colorado provide needed food and nutrition resources to local residents.

“It makes all the difference in the world if I can make it month-to-month without loans and with food I can eat,” said Linda. “I still have to be smart about purchasing food, but I can make it now.”

Michelle Ray
Director of Communications
Hunger Free Colorado

read more

Manhattan Beach California Area Articles

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Top 10 water parks to visit with families

Now that the temperatures are heating up, it’s time to find a place to cool off. With names like Water Country and Wet n’ Wild, it’s no secret we’re slipping and sliding our way across the country to seek out the best places to spend the day getting wet and enjoying it. From quiet coves to extreme body slides, water parks offer something for everyone and you don’t even have to know how to swim to join in the fun.  

1. A Splashin’ Safari in a place called Santa Claus sounds like it might be spa for reindeer, but it’s anything but a laid back experience. Splashin’ Safari is a top-rated water park with rides, slides, shows and events, including holiday-themed attractions for spreading joy year round. Fireworks are a weekly attraction, but what draws the crowds in summer are the giant water coasters. Take the nearly seven story plunge on the Mammoth slide in a six-man boat that traverses the 1/3 mile long course thrilling riders with seven drops in approximately three minutes. Hold on tight, catch your breath and get on line to do it again. 

2. Schlitterbahn shows up on the list of best theme parks for their roller coasters and their water rides. It guarantees indoor and outdoor water fun across a choice of properties in Texas and Kansas and claims to be the world’s first family of water parks. Each property has its own unique features as the backdrop for their activity pools, speed slides, tube chutes and river rides. Heated or refreshingly cold, enjoy a day in the water and when you’re all tuckered out, spread a blanket for a picnic or find a cabin, hotel or vacation home nearby to rent for an extended stay. 

3. Head to Noah’s Ark Water Park in twos (and threes and fours) for a day at the largest water park in the United States. It’s located in Wisconsin Dells a place noted for its scenic beauty and named for the dells along the Wisconsin River. Slip and slide on dozens of rides designed for all age and thrill levels, like the Bermuda Triangle (no one’s disappeared, yet) or the Black Anaconda, which is a combination water slide and roller coaster that whisks riders down the 1/4 mile track at 30 miles per hour. Feeling a little fragile? Hold onto some friends on Group Rides or work your way up to the thrills on the Gentle Rides. You can even duck into their arcade or 4-D theater to reboot before heading back into the water. 

4. The Great Wolf Lodge is called the largest family of water parks because their properties include 12 locations across the United States where you will find fun in and out of the sun for children of all ages and groups of all sizes. Book a stay or go for a day of dipping, dunking, splashing and laughing. Great Wolf Lodge is geared toward kids and they encourage you to explore their activities by age or even plan a party for family and friends. The rides are sure to delight even the most determined thrill seeker, like the Hydro Plunge at the Great Wold Lodge in Cincinnati-Mason, Ohio with a 52-foot vertical drop or fill a raft with friends and take the River Canyon Run for a ride you won’t soon forget. 

5. Water World is only open in the summer and weather permitting, so check the forecast before you pack up the kids and the car. Since opening in 1979 the park has filled out their 64 acres with 46 water attractions and they claim more family-friendly tube rides than any other park in America. The latest innovation to arrive on scene is a magnetic water coaster called the Mile High Flyer with a thrill rating of “high” it propels riders up, down and around the track at high speeds. Back on the ground, lay out your picnic fare or pick up something from the concession stand to get your energy back before you take the Voyage to the Center of the Earth or head over to the Red Line Speed Slide.

6. White Water is part of Silver Dollar City Attractions in Branson, Missouri a place designed specifically to delight visitors and convert them to fans. White Water offers 13 acres of rides and slides and they encourage repeat visits with deals and packages. You can even save by taking advantage of their nighttime special that lets you splash until 10PM on Thursdays–Saturdays in July and August. New this year is the KaPau Plummet, that sends riders free falling at 26 feet per second before dumping them out into the water at the bottom. KaPau!

7. Don’t let the Raging Waters in San Dimas scare you. It’s all been engineered for your water park pleasure with wave pools and water slides for small to tall laid out at California’s largest water park. Choose from 36 slides across 50 acres or spend the day on their sand beach. Take a ride through the Dark Hole on a two-person raft or line up at one of eight lanes to fling your body down a slide to a finish line that ends with a splash. You can even pretend you’re a California surfer on their Flowrider with non-stop wave action. 

8. Wet ‘n Wild is the name of the water park at Emerald Pointe, another in a chain of popular water parks. They have their own set of slides and rides that get your adrenaline pumping, like the Runaway Raft Ride that speeds thrill seekers along a 600-foot flume or Dr. Von Dark’s Tunnel of Terror where the hi-speed spins happen in the dark. Sound too scary? Stick with the children’s pool at Splash Island or the play area at Happy Harbor for tikes and their guardians.

9. Water Country is a hot spot for a number of reasons, including being close to popular perennial tourist attractions like Colonial Williamsburg as well as Busch Gardens. Sounds like the perfect vacation combination. History and colonial charm combined with water soaked thrills and chills. Water Country advertises 25 state-of-the-art water rides, including the latest called the Colossal Curl, which is a new slide with incredible stats, including being almost two football fields long with a funnel and a wave and promising a weightless experience. Get thee to Water Country for a historically good time. 

10. With a name like Aquatica, you can guess the entertainment won’t be confined to above the water. Aquatica is part of a chain of water parks in California, Florida and Texas operated by SeaWorld. In Orlando the newest thrill ride is the Ihu Breakaway Falls a “drop slide” that’s called one wild ride. In Texas, enjoy a water ride through a unique environment filled with flowers, birds and waterfalls at Roa’s Aviary. San Diego takes the action up a notch with the new Taumata Racer high-speed racing water slide that winds through tunnels and turns on the 375 foot race to the bottom. Take your pick or plan a vacation to see them all. 

Whichever property or water park you choose, remember to tie your suit on tight and remember what your mother used to say about coming out when you’re skin starts to wrinkle.


Do you have a favorite place to splash the day away? 

Manhattan Beach California Area Articles

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AmericanTown’s Heroes: Manny Ohonmes Changes Lives With Shoes

Good samaritans are people who do good deeds or get involved to help others. We think of good samaritans as heroes, especially when their actions save lives. Good samaritans are around us all the time responding and reacting and inspiring others, like the simple act of offering a boy a pair of shoes that led to the creation of Samaritan’s Feet, an organization based on the belief that “A pair of shoes can change a life.”

Manny Ohonmes was the boy who received the shoes (he won them in a contest) and years later paid the act forward by starting Samaritan’s Feet

Read more Manny Ohonmes Changes Lives With Shoes.

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Jul 23,2014: Honey Island Swamp Band

Great music begins with great songs, and great songs are what the Honey Island Swamp Band is all about. The band came together after Aaron Wilkinson (acoustic guitar, mandolin, vocals) and Chris Mule (electric guitar, vocals) were marooned in San Francisco when the levee breaches following Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, and had a chance encounter with fellow New Orleans evacuees Sam Price (bass, vocals) and Garland Paul (drums, vocals) at the John Lee Hooker’s Boom Boom Room on Fillmore Street. They knew each other from having all played together in some form or another in various New Orleans bands, and with the great unknown regarding their return to their underwater hometown looming in the distance, they decided to put together a band and get some gigs going. Fortunately, the Boom Boom Room’s owner Alex Andreas offered the band a weekly gig on the spot.

Sunday nights at the Boom Boom Room soon became a favorite of Bay Area roots music lovers, who have a long-standing affinity for New Orleans music and musicians. Two months into the residency, sound engineer Robert Gatley approached the band with a rare opportunity – he wanted to record a Honey Island Swamp Band album at the legendary Record Plant studios in Sausalito, where he worked. The recording came together beautifully, with Wilkinson and Mule both contributing favorite originals, and was received so well that they all decided to continue the band upon moving back to New Orleans in early 2007.

Honey Island Swamp Band’s music has been described as “Bayou Americana”, with timeless songs from Wilkinson and Mule, highlighted by Mulé’s searing guitar, Wilkinson’s sure-handed mandolin, and 4-part vocal harmonies, all anchored by the powerful groove of Price Paul’s Louisiana stomp rhythm section. The addition of Trevor Brooks on Hammond B-3 organ to the HISB family in 2010 has rounded out the band’s sound, which draws from a variety of influences in the world of roots music, including artists such as Lowell George Little Feat, The Band, Taj Mahal, Gram Parsons, Jerry Garcia, Johnny Cash, Jimmy Reed, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, and New Orleans’ own Earl King and Dr. John.

In April 2009, the band released its first full-length album – Wishing Well – and on the strength of such songs as “Natural Born Fool”, “Till the Money’s Gone”, and the album’s title track, Wishing Well was awarded 2009′s “Best Blues Album” by OffBeat Magazine, which also named HISB as 2009′s “Best Emerging Artist” and 2010′s “Best Roots Rock Artist”. Most recently the band won the award for “Best Roots Rock Artist” of 2011 at the Big Easy Awards, New Orleans’ most prestigious arts entertainment honors.

The newest offering from HISB – 2010′s Good To You – was named to several “Top Ten CDs of 2010″ lists, and has quickly become a staple on the Crescent City’s legendary radio station WWOZ, as well as on Sirius/XM satellite radio’s Bluesville and traditional stations from coast-to-coast. Featuring the southern strut of songs such as “Be Good”, “300 Pounds” and the album’s first single “Chocolate Cake”, Good To You illuminates the mix of country-inflected rock and New Orleans funky blues that makes Honey Island Swamp Band’s music so familiar and unique at the same time.

Manhattan Beach California Area Articles

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Jun 20,2014: Framing Hanley

The Dick Dale Phenomenon. His style is something different and unique. Since his first appearances Balboa, Ca. at the famed Rendezvous Ballroom, he has set and broken attendance records everywhere he’s performed. His appearances at the Rendezvous Ballroom broke every existing record for the Ballroom by drawing capacity crowds of over four thousand screaming dancing fans every weekend each night down on the Balboa peninsula.

Dick Dale invented surf music in the 1950′s. Not the ’60′s as is commonly believed. He was given the title “King of the Surf Guitar” by his fellow surfers with whom he surfed with from sun-up to sun-down. He met Leo Fender the guitar and amplifier Guru and Leo asked Dale to play his newly creation, the Fender Stratocaster Electric Guitar. The minute Dale picked up the guitar, Leo Fender broke into uncontrolled laughter and disbelief, he was watching Dale play a right handed guitar upside down and backwards, Dale was playing a right handed guitar left handed and changing the chords in his head then transposing the chords to his hands to create a sound never heard before.

Leo Fender gave the Fender Stratocaster along with a Fender Amp to Dale and told him to beat it to death and tell him what he thought of it. Dale took the guitar and started to beat it to death, and he blew up Leo Fender’s amp and blew out the speaker. Dale proceeded to blow up forty nine amps and speakers; they would actually catch on fire. Leo would say, ‘Dick, why do you have to play so loud?’ Dale would explain that he wanted to create the sound of Gene Krupa the famous jazz drummer that created the sounds of the native dancers in the jungles along with the roar of mother nature’s creature’s and the roar of the ocean.

Leo Fender kept giving Dale amps and Dale kept blowing them up! Till one night Leo and his right hand man Freddy T. went down to the Rendezvous Ballroom on the Balboa Peninsula in Balboa, California and stood in the middle of Four Thousand screaming dancing Dick Dale fans and said to Freddy, I now know what Dick Dale is trying to tell me. Back to the drawing board. A special 85 watt output transformer was made that peaked 100 watts when dale would pump up the volume of his amp, this transformer would create the sounds along with Dale’s style of playing, the kind of sounds that Dale dreamed of. BUT! they now needed a speaker that would handle the power and not burn up from the volume that would come from Dale’s guitar.

Leo, Freddy and Dale went to the James B. Lansing speaker company, and they explained that they wanted a fifteen inch speaker built to their specifications. That speaker would soon be known as the 15” JBL -D130 speaker. It made the complete package for Dale to play through and was named the Single Showman Amp. When Dale plugged his Fender Stratocaster guitar into the new Showman Amp and speaker cabinet, Dale became the first creature on earth to jump from the volume scale of a modest quiet guitar player on a scale of 4 to blasting up through the volume scale to TEN! That is when Dale became the “Father of Heavy Metal” as quoted from Guitar Player Magazine. Dale broke through the electronic barrier limitations of that era!

Dale still wanted to go further, and as the crowds increased, Dale’s volume increased, but he still wanted a bigger punch with thickness in the sound so that it would pulsate into the audience and leave them breathless. The JBL-D130 was doing its job until Dale froze it in the frame that held the speaker, the speaker cone would twist from the heavy playing from Dale and it would soon twist and stop to fluctuate back n forth.

Leo, Freddy and Dale went back to the JBL speaker company and told them to rubberize the front ridge of the speaker allowing it to push forward and backward from the signal of Dale’s guitar without cocking and twisting. The new updated version was called the JBL D-130F; the F stood for Fender.

Leo, Freddy and Dale designed a speaker cabinet and in which they installed 2 -15”-JBL-D130F’s. This caused Leo Fender to have to create a new and more powerful output transformer, they would call it the Dick Dale Transformer and it was made by the Triad Company.

This became the 100 watt output transformer that would actually peak 180 watts. Nothing like this had ever been done before in the world of guitars and amplifiers. This became known as the Dual-Showman Piggy Back Amp. This is why Dick Dale is called the Father of all the power Players in the world!

It is a Phenomena, that Dale is still playing with not only the same vengeance as he did in the 50′s, but his playing is unleashed and shredding into the 90′s with a focus and power as if from mother nature. He shares the stage with fellow players of all generations up into the alternative’s of the 90′s. Being completely self taught, Dick Dale plays left handed upside down which was a result of holding the guitar left-handed. The strings became upside-down, chords are designed for right handed players making it very difficult for a left handed player unless he were to change the strings for a left handed guitar, something that Dale never did.

Dale is also a master at the Acoustic, Electronic, Bass and Spanish Guitars’. As well as the Ukulele, Banjo, Drums, Piano, Organ, Electronic Keyboard, Harpsichord, Trumpet, Trombone, Saxophone, Harmonica, Xylophone and, believe it or not… the Accordion!

Dale was also responsible for another creation to the world of guitar players, “The Fender Tank Reverb”. As Dale sang in his shows, he found that he did not have a vibrato in his voice, and he did not like the straight flat dry sound. to sustain his vocal notes, he turned to an old Hammond organ and found a reverb unit and showed it to Leo Fender and together they came up with the “Fender Tank Reverb”. Dale then plugged a Shure Dynamic Bird cage Microphone into it and as Dale sang, his voice took on a very rich, sexy and full sound. Later, Dale then plugged his Fender Stratocaster guitar into the Reverb Tank to sustain his guitar notes which became Dale’s trademark sound.) (NOTE) Dale had already been titled “King of the Surf Guitar” by his surfer friends before his creation of the Fender Reverb, Dale’s first album called “Surfer’s Choice” was the first Surfing album to be commercially sold with a picture of Dale surfing by the pier in San Clemente, Ca. with a surfing title on it. This album alone sold over eighty-eight thousand albums in the late 50′s and today in the 90′s it would be like 4 million. There was not one song on that album that had a Reverb for effects, everything was played with nothing but Dale’s sheer force and power. A bit of trivia, Dale’s recording of “Miserlou” became the title song for Quentin Tarantino’s Blockbuster movie “Pulp Fiction”.

Dick Dale has been called one of the hardest working men in show business. In the past five years he has maintained a heavy concert tour and public appearance schedule throughout the world. Focusing in Europe, Australia, Japan, Canada, South America and the U.S.

He makes time to endorse some of his favorite products, including Dean Markley strings, Dale’s string sizes are 16p, 18p, 20p. 38w, 48w, 58w…they use to be 39w, 49w, 60w…..he says he’s getting lazy now. Pearl Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Graphtech String Saddles, Billabong clothing and Australia’s Ugg Boot Company. Perhaps his most prominent endorsement would have to be for Fender Musical Instruments. Because of the popularity of Dale’s signature playing, Fender added to their inventory of guitars, the making of the Dick Dale Signature Stratocaster which seems to be a favorite amongst the Dick Dale guitar players. John English, Fender’s custom guitar maker set out to the task of building Dale’s Signature Stratocaster guitar with Dale being the overseer. To be included with his favorites was the honor distinction to be the first musician ever to be endorsed by Telex Corp. Using the Telex FMR450 Digital Wireless which has made it possible for Dale to play his guitar walking into the audience.

Along with his Dual Showman Fender Amps, Dale is particular in what tubes that he uses to help create his sound, he has chosen Ruby Tubes from a company called Magic Parts located in Point Reyes Station, California (800) 451-1992

Dale has also recorded original material for Disneyland’s Space Mountain roller coaster ride, and the soundtrack for the History of NASA video shown in Space Mountain. Dale’s music is being used in all the Disneyland’s throughout the world along with being featured in a Disneyland Music album which is being sold by Disneyland. May 21, 1998 a historical day for Disneyland, Dick Dale was chosen to be the person to highlight the grand opening of Tomorrowland by standing on top of Space Mountain (without the use of a safety harness) with his Gold Fender Stratocaster guitar (the beast) and play for all to hear throughout Disneyland “Ghost Riders” “Miserlou” – Dale’s music has gone down in the annals of Disneyland history.

Being a unique and versatile artist, Dick Dale is not limited to his musical skills. He has proved to be a respected Home designer and builder, personally designing and hand drawing the elevations and building his parents 7,000 square foot single story dream home in the California high desert so that he can be within easy reach to them. As of January 24, Dale’s parent’s celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary, his dad is 86 and his mother is 81 years young. Dale is an accomplished Horseman, Exotic Animal Trainer, Surfer, Martial Arts Expert, Archer, and Pilot. His favorite plane is a Cessna 337B Super Skymaster, a twin tailed, front and rear engine aircraft which was also flown in the military and also sold to the general aviation pilots. Dale has a twin engine pilot rating.

Featured in various articles including the Los Angeles Times Calendar Section, Guitar World Magazine, Guitar and Guitar Player Mag and just recently the back cover of Fender Frontline Magazine with his 5 year old son Jimmy Stix holding their Fender Strats. And in 1981, Dick Dale was awarded Guitarist of the Year by Guitar Player Magazine.

Manhattan Beach California Area Articles

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