Famed surf music guitarist, Dick Dale, has been battling cancer and diabetes for almost a decade and a half now, yet continues to tour because it is his best means for paying all of his medical bills. Dale, dubbed the “King of Surf Guitar”, is famous for his stacatto guitar runs that we all recognize as the signature sound of the Quentin Tarantino film, “Pulp Fiction.”

The 78-year-old’s road regimen has less to do with the love of satisfying oldies hounds and Quentin Tarantino fans (1962’s “Misirlou” having found a second life as the theme to 1994’s Pulp Fiction) than with paying medical bills involving diabetes, post-cancer treatment and other debilitating conditions. Suddenly, he’s the poster child for a generation that’s not too sick to work, but too sick to retire.

Wow. What an iconic guitar player and hard worker. We wish you all of the best, Dale, and hope that your love for playing guitar continues to help your path towards recovery. You can read the rest of Dale’s rock n’ roll story at Billboard.