In the wake of the bizarre and tragic shooting that claimed the life of Pantera/ Damageplan guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott on Wednesday, friends and fans were coming to terms with the loss and remembering Dimebag as a man whose musical prowess was exceeded only by his love of life.
Fans were expected to gather for a vigil Thursday night (December 9) at the Columbus, Ohio, club where Dimebag was gunned down the night before (see “Hundreds Of Fans Gather At Club Honor Dimebag Darrell” and “Dimebag Darrell, Four Others Killed In Ohio Concert Shooting” ). But as fans mourned, so did the friends and colleagues who had shared the stage and the road with the guitarist.
“Bottom line: You’ve got Jimi Hendrix, you’ve got Eddie Van Halen, you’ve got Randy Rhoads and you’ve got Dimebag Darrell,” guitarist Zakk Wylde said. “His influence will be felt forever. And he was the most genuine, kindest guy you ever met. Dime would give you the shirt off his back. The good Lord put him down here to whoop some ass and make everybody happy, and now He needed him, so He took him. I’m sitting in Dime’s garage right now — I’m down here to take care of his family, to keep everybody together — and I’m waiting for him to walk through the door. I’m looking at pictures of him on the wall, pictures of us hanging together, and it just crushes me inside. I’ve never had a brother, but he was as close to blood as possible. My love for him is unconditional and beyond forever.”
“He’s the type of guy that would do anything for his friends,” Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian said. “He really did put his family and his friends first, and for him everyone was his family. Once you came into contact with Dimebag and became friends with that guy, it was a sacred bond. Once you shared drinks with that guy, you became a part of his extended family. … The world hasn’t seen someone with as strong an energy as Dimebag Darrell in my lifetime. He’s one of those few people I’ve met who was absolutely special in every way.”
“Dimebag was a dear friend of mine,” Ozzy Osbourne said. “I’m absolutely beside myself with grief. I can’t for the life of me understand why someone would do this. Pantera toured with me many, many times. I’ll always remember the signed guitar that he gave me at my 50th birthday party. My heart goes out to Dime’s family, his fans and the other innocent victims who were killed in this senseless tragedy. It’s just terribly, terribly sad.”
“Darrell and Pantera were one of the main reasons I joined a metal band,” Korn frontman Jonathan Davis said. “This is a tragic loss for the music community and to all who knew him. Korn is truly shaken and we want to send our deepest condolences to the families of the deceased.”
“I wish to thank and remember Darrell for his amazing life and the gift that he shared with me and so many others,” Megadeth leader Dave Mustaine offered via his Web site. “I pray for Darrell’s family and friends, specifically for their healing, their peace and their understanding of this tragedy in this time of need. I send my deepest heartfelt condolences to the Abbott family, to Darrell’s friends, and to the fantastic Pantera and Damageplan fans around the world. We must never forget his life and his gifts, his genius, his terrific personality, and the legacy he left behind to remember him by.”
“We had the pleasure of touring three times with Pantera,” Deftones drummer Abe Cunningham said. “They treated us so well on the road. We had some great times hanging out with them. They treated us with open arms, especially the brothers [Dimebag and his brother, Vinnie Paul]. Darrell lived the music. We feel terrible, and our hearts go out to his family, brother and father. He was a legend in this business, and an unbelievable musician. He will be missed by all.”
“I think a lot of people know him as this amazing guitar player that you have on your wall or you try to emulate his style, but there are only a select few people that were let into his world and know how genuine and how down to earth he was,” Puddle of Mudd guitarist Paul Phillips said. “For that caliber of a guitar player to be that down to earth is so refreshing. He has every reason in the world to be like, ‘Get away from me, kid. You don’t know how to play.’ He’s not that guy. You were just instantly friends with him. It’s amazing.”
In addition to the peers who rocked alongside Pantera, a legion of young metal lions who were first moved by Dimebag’s signature sound weighed in on his inspirational musicianship and spirit (see ” ‘Dimebag’ Darrell
Abbott: A Larger-Than-Life Guitarist And Human Being” ).
“Dime’s music was a huge influence on me personally and on Lamb of God as a whole,” Mark Morton said. “As a guitar player, he was a true innovator. His sound tone and style shaped modern metal and his riffs are constantly referenced by nearly every band in metal, including my own. Only recently did I have the pleasure of hanging out with him on a personal level, and he was as genuine and down to earth as anyone you would ever meet. This is a huge loss to the music world.”
“Dimebag Darrell was one of the nicest and most genuine human beings all of us in Unearth have ever met,” vocalist Trevor Phipp said. “His presence, music and most of all his friendship will be dearly missed. Dime loved life, cared about people and was a true rock icon. Everything about him was admirable. Our thoughts and hearts go out to his family and friends.”
For fans’ reactions to the death of Dimebag Darrell, check out You Tell Us.
Click here for more on the tragic death of Dimebag Darrell and the Ohio club shooting.
For much more on Dimebag Darrell’s life, music and influence, tune in to a special edition of “Headbangers Ball” premiering Saturday night at 10 p.m. ET on MTV2.
[This story was updated at 7:28 p.m. ET on 12.10.2004]