In response to the killing of Dimebag Darrell, ex-Pantera singer Phil Anselmo has issued a rambling, emotional statement saying he's devastated by what happened, and calling the slain guitarist "the most beautiful person, one of my best friends in the world."
"I love Dimebag Darrell because there was not one mother----er like him," he said. "I love him like a brother loves a brother."
Darrell was shot onstage in Columbus, Ohio, on December 8 during the first song of Damageplan's set. The band's security chief, a club employee and a fan were also killed (see "Dimebag Darrell, Four Others Killed In Ohio Concert Shooting").
Anselmo, who currently fronts the band Superjoint Ritual, expressed his condolences to Dimebag's bandmates, especially his drummer and brother. "Vinnie Paul, my other brother, I'm so sorry," he said. "I'm so sorry to his family. I want to say bless his family, [and] all of his close friends. I wish his family the least grief they could ever have, and I know it's impossible."
The kind words countered comments Anselmo made through the media before Darrell's death. In the cover story of the latest issue of the English magazine Metal Hammer, Anselmo, in an interview conducted long before Darrell's death, called the guitarist "a "shallow, stupid man," and added "he deserves to be beaten severely."
The singer's comments were in response to Darrell's implications that Anselmo was on heroin, and that his singing was suffering as a result. "He would attack me, vocally," Anselmo said in the article. "And just knowing that he was so much smaller than me, I could kill him like a f---in' piece of vapor, you know, he would turn into vapor."
Anselmo planned to attend Darrell's public memorial service Tuesday night in Arlington, Texas, but was told that Darrell's family didn't want him to attend (see "Thousands Gather To Mourn Dimebag Darrell"). "I never got a chance to say goodbye in the right way and it kills me," he said. "I wish to God I could've gone to his funeral, but I have to respect his family's wishes, and they do not want me there. I believe I belong there, but I understand completely, I'm so sorry."
Not only did Darrell's death dash the hopes of a Pantera reunion, Anselmo said the incident has made him question his own career as a musician. "This has changed the entire world, and this is the last you'll be seeing of me for a long time," he said. "I hope you're happy, heavy metal music magazines, media, I hope you're happy. I'm done."
For fan reactions to the death of Dimebag Darrell, check out You Tell Us.
For artists' reactions, check out "Ozzy, Dave Mustaine, Jonathan Davis Remember Dimebag".
Click here for more on the tragic death of Dimebag Darrell and the Ohio club shooting.