Dale, 74, is often hailed as the "King of the Surf Guitar," is known for hit songs like "Misirlou" (of "Pulp Fiction" fame) and has been performing since 1959. He has also been credited for his innovations in electric amplification and recently, in acoustic guitars. Through the years, Dale has also played sold-out concerts in large venues and smaller clubs, where Dale says he has gotten to know his fans.
"When I'm through performing, we have this meet and greet thing and we talk about all we've been going through. I've gone through so many things with the families in the past 20 years and there's a camaraderie with everyone that has followed me," he said.
No one has followed Dale, however, like his 40-year-old wife Lana, whom he called "my love of my entire life."
Dale said that when Lana Dale was only two-years-old, her mother showed her one of Dale's albums. The moment the St. Petersburg, Fla., native saw Dale's face, she was mesmerized.
"He has beautiful eyes," said the tot. "I am going to be with him one day for the rest of my life."
She followed him through his career and watched him as he married and had a son, Jimmy, who is currently 19 and tours with his father in guitar duels or as a drummer.
The future Mrs. Dale, who never married, only contacted Dale after hearing about his battle with cancer and other health problems, he said. They began communicating daily, talking seven to eight hours per day on the phone, Dale said. One day, she saw Dale shaking and ill via Skype and decided to finally be with him.
Dale credited her for saving his life. His wife, a medical researcher, spotted leaks created by radiation in Dale's body that doctors overlooked on x-rays, he said.
"She's the only thing in my life. We love the same things -we were raised Big Band style, we love Louis Armstrong. When I play the trumpet or piano, she has tears in her eyes. She's very emotional, she's a hopeless romantic like me."
Today, Dale and his wife drive across the country as he fights to stay healthy and continue rocking out for sold-out crowds.
"We're gonna have a lot of fun, I'm really looking forward to it," said Dale, who says he has performed at the Iron Horse before. "It's always a wonderful experience!"
Dick Dale performs at the Iron Horse in Northampton this Monday, October 17th at 7PM.
Tickets are available at Northampton Box Office,76 Main Street. 413-586-8686 and online at IHEG.com
SPF-4 will also perform.
Watch "Misirlou" by Dick Dale.