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 News Archive: Dimebag Darrell




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"It was his mission in life to make sure every single moment you spent with him was the best moment of your life." ...


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"Anytime anyone tried to tell him it was time to go, he'd destroy the clock. He didn't want to end the party." ...


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"He just couldn't stay at home. He wanted to be out rocking onstage for the kids that came to support him." ...


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"His guitar tone was so incredibly brutal. Everyone tried to attain his tone. ... It was a formula for brutality." ...






  Dimebag Darrell, Four Others Killed In Ohio Concert Shooting



 Ozzy, Dave Mustaine, Jonathan Davis Remember Dimebag.


  Hundreds Of Fans Gather At Club To Honor Dimebag Darrell





Dimebag Darrell   Fan Memorials,   12.09.2004


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— by Chris Harris

It was a year ago this week that heavy metal lost one of its most influential and beloved figures to a crazed gunman.

"Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, a larger-than-life guitarist who first wielded his axe for Pantera, and later as a member of Damageplan, was murdered onstage on December 8, 2004, by a distraught fan, 25-year-old Nathan Gale.

Before a police officer brought the rampage to an end with a single shotgun blast to Gale's head, four people had been killed and three others wounded. Investigators speculated it was the disbanding of Pantera two years earlier that fueled Gale's shooting spree, but the world will never know for sure.

Dimebag's sudden death at age 38 — perhaps the most significant loss for the metal genre since Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Randy Rhoads died in a 1982 plane crash — shook the tight-knit heavy-music community to its very core, and left everyone wondering how something so unthinkable could've happened.

MTV News spoke with members of some 30 hard rock and metal bands about the Dimebag they remember. They told us how much he'd meant to them, they shared fond memories and spoke of the impact he made on their lives and their music.

Many of those we spoke with knew the man behind the guitar hero — the genuine, amusing human being who was rarely spotted without his favorite drink, the "black tooth grin" — a splash of Coca-Cola and two shots of whiskey. They knew Dime offstage, away from the devil-horn salute that greeted him every time he strapped on a shredder. These were his friends — people who reveled in Dime's presence and relished his uplifting and roaring spirit. They remember him as the epitome of a good time — a man who lived the rock-and-roll lifestyle to the hilt. But much more than that, they said, he was a man who always wanted to be around his comrades and douse them with gifts.

A True Friend

David Draiman - frontman, Disturbed: "During our second Ozzfest, we were holed up in Dallas for about two or three days ... hanging out at Dime's place — it was an eclectic house. There's all kinds of Pantera memorabilia and Dimebag memorabilia all over the place. But you could never make the mistake of falling asleep at Dime's. He'd wake you up the way he always did: with firecrackers. He'd always set off an entire chain of firecrackers not two inches from my head. One time ... Dime took us to a strip club where we all judged a bikini contest. There was never a wrong time in the day for Dime to hit a strip club. ... Dime was just this character who was very easy to love. He didn't have a bad bone in his body, and was ready to give you the shirt off his back at all times. It was his mission in life to make sure every single moment you spent with him was the best moment of your life. He was selfless."

Zakk Wylde - frontman, Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society: "Whenever you were around Dime, there was never a boring moment. He was the coolest guy on the planet. He was an even better person than he was a guitar player, if that's even possible. Whenever me and him would hook up, forget about it, bro. We'd always have to have a spare kidney, liver and pancreas on ice."

Chad Kroeger - frontman, Nickelback: "The last time I saw Dime, we were on tour in Dallas. He jumped up on our bus and he'd brought me this little tiny miniature guitar. It almost looked like a ukulele. He goes, 'I brought you something.' And I hate when someone gives me a present and I don't have something to give them back. So, that night, we were both getting pretty sloppy, and I go in the back and I grab my favorite leather jacket. I come out and give it to him and he throws it on. I'm like, 'There you go. What do you think?' We were both ecstatic, and I gave him a big old hug. We jumped back into his Escalade, and we're sitting there, talking for a bit. We were passing this bottle of Jack Daniel's back and forth. ... I tell him I love him and to be careful, and he tells me he loves me and to be careful. I gave him a big old hug and went back to my bus. ... That was the last time I saw him, and that's what I'll always remember when I think of Dime. I miss him a lot."

Richard Patrick - frontman, Army of Anyone (formerly of Filter): "My fondest memory of Dimebag was his hospitality. He was the sweetest guy in the world. A fun-loving dude who was so complimentary to other musicians. ... It was always great to be around that."


NEXT: 'Anytime anyone tried to tell him it was time to go, he'd destroy the clock. He didn't want to end the party.' ...
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