Famed guitarist Dick Dale, well known for his song Misirlou which plays during the opening credits of Pulp Fiction, has died aged 81.

Dale's live bassist Sam Bolle confirmed to the Guardian that he had died on Saturday night (March 16).

The cause of death is not yet known.

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Dubbed the "King of Surf Guitar", the genre he invented in the 1950s, Dale's work was hugely influential.

The musician was known for his fast strumming style, which inspired acts like The Beach Boys, Eddie Van Halen and Jimi Hendrix.

Dale's agent called his death "a sad day for rock 'n' roll".

Tributes poured in for the late musician online, including from Beach Boy Brian Wilson, who tweeted: "I'm sorry to hear about Dick Dale passing. Dick's guitar playing was a big influence on all of us, and we covered "Misirlou" on our Surfin' USA album in '63. Love & Mercy to Dick's family."

"RIP Dick Dale - Father of the Surf Guitar. We all owe you. Rock on. Bri," Queen guitarist Brian May said in tribute.

David Simon, the creator of The Wire TV series, wrote: "If you ever bought an electric guitar and imagined playing it like Dick Dale, you were on a certain path to eventually recognising your own idiocy.

"You might learn some stuff, play some stuff. But you were not going to play like Dick Dale. Just no."

Dale, a Lebanese-American, was born Richard Monsour in 1937 in Boston, and moved to California as a teenager.

He is survived by his wife Lana and his son, Jimmie.