Dick Dale fights terrible health issues to continue playing live



dickdaleThe story of Dick Dale’s current health fight is a must-read.

Dale, 78, is dealing with a mind-blowing level of health problems but continues to play shows anyway, because he says he has to.

In an article by Charlie Deitch of the Pittsburgh City Paper, Dale’s health situation is detailed in stunning fasion.

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“The man hailed as the King of Surf Guitar has had rectal cancer twice,” Deitch wrote. “He’s currently in renal failure and refuses to go on dialysis, and he suffers from diabetes and from vertebrae that are so damaged ‘that every time I stand up it’s like a double-edge sword going into my spine.’ During one bout with rectal cancer, part of his stomach and intestines were removed, and his bodily waste now empties through a stoma and into a plastic bag that he wears under his clothes.”

Despite all those issues, Dale continues to tour because he needs the money to pay medical bills.

“I can’t stop touring because I will die,” Dale said, “Physically and literally, I will die.”

Dale says he has to fight through pain with every show he does.

“When I go on stage, I’m in pain every night,” Dale said. “But through the martial arts, I’ve learned to guide and deal with pain,” Dale says. “I play harder now than I ever have, and honestly when I go on stage I push a button. I swear at the pain. ‘Get out of my damn body; I’ve got to do a job!’”

The entire story should be required reading for any music fan. Click here to read.

Photo credit: By Mike Burns (Flickr: Dick Dale) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

h/t Reddit /r/music

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2 comments to “Dick Dale fights terrible health issues to continue playing live”
  1. This is a real reminder of how music isn’t just a past-time or something we do for fun… It’s a way of helping us through this strange journey.

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