It’s been five years since the metal world was changed forever. Five years since we sat in stunned silence at the tragedy that befell one of the greatest metal guitarists of our time. On December 8, 2004, Dimebag Darrell and three others were abruptly and brutally taken from us. It’s a moment I will NEVER forget.
As I sat on the couch with my boyfriend (who is now my husband) watching TV, the phone rang around 11pm. It was strange that anyone was calling this late. My boyfriend answered and it was his mother in total hysterics trying to figure out if we were OK. I saw the look on his face change immediately as he grabbed the remote and changed the channel to the local news. Looking at the TV I thought, “Hey, why is the Alrosa on TV?” Then the little details started coming and my jaw dropped to the floor. The Alrosa is five minutes from our house. My husband grew up there (literally). We go to shows there all the time. Our friends’ bands play there. We were supposed to be there that night. What the fuck just happened at our bar?
At that time, there were no confirmed details about who was dead. We just knew there was a shooting and people were dead. Witnesses were giving their tear filled accounts to the press and my heart just sank. I just kept thinking to myself, “Don’t let it be Dimebag. Don’t let it be Dimebag…” But the next morning, my worst fears were confirmed.
As I drove to work, I listened to Vulgar Display of Power, cried and hit my steering wheel over and over and over again. Throughout the course of the day, I found out that we had friends there who were on the stage when it happened…who witnessed it all. One of the guys who died, Erin Halk, was a good friend of one my friends. Eventually it hit me that we were actually supposed to be at that show but for whatever reason, we didn’t make it. We were a couple of the lucky ones who missed this carnage, but the effects of this on our lives were like we were right there in the thick of it.
Pantera was one of those bands that changed my life. I saw them on the Cowboys from Hell tour opening up for Skid Row. Then I saw them live twice a year for the next few years. They are one of my all time favorite bands. To have one of the members brutally killed and taken from us WAY too early at a venue that I frequent on a regular basis by a mentally unstable asshole who deserved his ending, was devasting for me and for the metal community. It’s a piece of music history that didn’t need to be written.
On this day, let’s celebrate Dimebag, his life and his music. His guitar playing and his music changed the face of metal and changed lives. Let’s celebrate the lives of the others who died in this tragedy: Jeff Thompson, Nathan Bray and Erin Halk. And let’s thank Officer James Niggemeyer for putting an end to this before it got any worse.
Five years later…and it still hurts like a fresh wound. R.I.P Dimebag. We miss you.
Today is the 4th Anniversary of the death of Pantera/Damageplan guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott. I still remember hearing about his murder on the evening news. Not only was I stunned that this happened during a club show but it was also one that I had been to in the past. I was a fan of Darrell’s while he was in Pantera. He helped make some amazing music during the Pantera years, and the heavy metal community lost one hell of an awesome guitar player.
If you have stories about “Dimebag”, feel free to share them in the comments.
Rest in Peace Darrell. You are missed!
The songs below are how I remember Dimebag best.
Pantera – Cowboy’s From Hell
Pantera – Walk
Pantera – Cemetary Gates
Pantera – This Love
To celebrate the release of Dimebag Darrell: He Came to Rock—the official biography of the fallen guitar hero—HardRockHideout.com is giving one lucky reader a chance to win a copy of this awesome retrospective of Dimebag’s life.
The book, written by Susan Doll and David Morrow, is a 400-plus photo driven biography assembled from the private and personal collections of friends and family including Dime’s father, Jerry Abbott, and his brother, former Pantera and current Hellyeah drummer Vinnie Paul. The book also contains anecdotes from Dime’s metal peers such as Kerry King and Zakk Wylde.
Also included is a revised version of Dimevision on DVD that includes some never-before-seen bonus clips made by Dimebag himself.
In order to win a copy of the book, all you have to do is answer the following Trivia Questions, and submit your name and email address, with the answers in the box below.
Question #1 Name the first singer of Pantera.
Question #2 Which Guitar company has signature Dimebag Darrell models?
Question #3 What was Darrell’s nickname before he was called “Dimebag”?
This is an official announcement from Big Vin Records to let you know that in just 13 days, the ONLY official book about DIMEBAG, “He Came To Rock” will be hitting store shelves (Best Buy, Borders, Hot Topic, Amazon, Hastings and many others).
If you’re too lazy or can’t make it to one of these outlets you can always order online directly from BigVinRecords.com.
The book is a photo gallery assembled from private and personal collections from friends and family as well as submissions from some of the world’s best photographers along with the stories behind the photos.
Also included is a revised version of Dimevision on DVD that now includes some never before seen bonus clips made by Dime!
To launch the release of the book, Vinnie Paul will be doing a book signing tour at the following cities:
- 11/18 – Hard Rock Cafe (outside the casino) Las Vegas, NV
- 11/19 – Best Buy (location and time TBA) Los Angeles, CA
- 11/21 – Best Buy (location and time TBA) Dallas, TX
- 11/22 – Best Buy (location and time TBA) NYC, NY
Check back for more information on exact locations and times. This book further establishes Dimebag’s legendary status as one of the most bad ass rockers ever! We hope to see you all there!
- Vinnie Paul, Big Vin Records.