The First World Guitar Congress

Dick and Jimmy Dale performed at The First World Guitar Congress, a showcase of more than 50 guest artists renowned in classical, jazz, rock, country, blues, flamenco, fusion and other guitar styles.  The Congress took place June 2-9 2004 at Towson University, Baltimore, Maryland.

Included here are photos from a June 3, 2004 guitar clinic by Dick and Jimmy, a clinic by guitar legend Les Paul, and an evening performance by The Dale's, John Scofield, and Eric Johnson.

It was quite a treat to meet and hear Dick's son Jimmy, who has real talent, and is a nice young man to boot!

Naturally, being in the presence of Les Paul was the ultimate for anyone associated with guitars.

Eric Johnson's rendition of Cliffs Of Dover at his evening performance showed why this Texan must be considered among the top guitarists today.

Dick Dale, Jimmy Dale with the legendary Les Paul at The First World Guitar Congress June 3, 2004
Click Images To Enlarge
(Photos Courtesy of Dick Dale and Carlos)

Dick and Jimmy Dale holding their afternoon guitar clinic at The First World Guitar Congress.  

Here is a multiple shot view of drummer Dusty Watson's drumstick, used during Dick Dale's May 26, 2004 Birchmere, Alexandria, Virginia performance.  Amazingly, Dick was borrowing this drumstick to do his guitar percussion segment, it slipped out of his hand and literally landed in front of me (I had a front row seat).  Later, Dusty and bass player Sam Bolle (who also do duty for well regarded California surf band Slacktone) signed it.  I got Dick and son Jimmy's signatures at the June 3, 2004 First World Guitar Congress.  From what I hear it is not easy to get Dusty to part with his drumsticks, so this is a real treasure, and definitely will go in the vaults of The Dick Dale Virtual Museum.

Dick and Jimmy Dale take time after their well attended (and well regarded) guitar clinic
to pose for photos, sign autographs, and mingle with fans



Guitar legend Les Paul is introduced by The Smithsonian Institution's Randall Kremer.

Born Lester Polfus, 9 June 1915, Waukesha, Wisconsin. 
ne of the most important figures in the development of the electric guitar and studio recording techniques. Les Paul worked as a professional musician from his late teens, and was leading his own trio in New York City by the age of 21. After serving with Armed Forces Radio in World War Two, he became a staff musician with NBC radio in Los Angeles. His experimentation with guitars became a frenzy in the late 1940s, building the first solid-body electric guitar in 1946 and releasing a six-way overdub, "Lover," which became a hit for Capitol, as did its flip side, "Brazil." Les Paul's sound was like nothing before it: fast, multi-layered, and deep.

He married the singer Mary Ford (born Colleen Somerset) in 1949, and together they recorded some of the biggest hits of the 1950s: "How High the Moon," "Vaya con Dios," "The World is Waiting for the Sunrise," and "Mockin' Bird Hill." He overdubbed both his guitar work and her vocals, working almost exclusively in his home studio, using an 8-track tape deck he designed and built himself. Paul was a perfectionist, and his recordings sound better today than almost anything coming from major label studios of the same period.

Paul and Ford divorced in 1963, and he retired from recording except for an occasional appearance. He cut a solo (overdub) album for London, "Les Paul Now," in 1968, and a collaboration with Chet Atkins in 1977. He returned to live work in 1984, appearing with a trio in New York City jazz clubs."
(source: SpaceAgePop)

Les Paul Links

Les Paul's Concert Of A Lifetime (The Washington Post)
Iridium Jazz Club Les Paul Backgrounder and Timeline
Gibson Guitars Les Paul Page
Smithsonian Associates Audio Interview

Jimmy Dale was thrilled to have Les Paul sign his guitar case!


Jim and Les Paul

Les Paul with Dick and Jimmy Dale, and Matt The Smithsonian Institution's Randall Kremer, a member of The First World Guitar Congress Steering Committee, chats with attendees after the Les Paul clinic.


Dick and Jimmy Dale, along with Les Paul sign beautiful Yellow and Red guitars.  The guitars were to be auctioned off, with the proceeds to go to performing artists and other worthy causes.

Les Paul told the audience that the first guitar he helped design for Gibson was painted gold, as he had a gold automobile and fancied the color.


Tom is a big fan of Les Paul, Dick Dale
and all things guitar.

Here he is with Les Paul.

Les Paul takes time to pose for pictures and autograph guitars.  The fans simply could not get enough of the legend, and he graciously took time for all!
Dick Dale and Jimmy Dale perform before a large audience at The Towson Center Arena.  The crowd loved them, with father and son looking like they had a great time too!

Yes, this is the shirt that the 'well dressed' Dick Dale fan wears!

In this instance, posing with fans at Dick Dale's
First World Guitar Congress concert appearance.


John Scofield performs at Towson Center Arena


Last but not least, Texas guitar wizard Eric Johnson wowed the crowed with some of the best finger picking and finesse anyone might hope for.

Top Of Page