'Dimebag' Darrell: Remembering the Pantera Guitarist Seven Years After His Death
Mick Hutson, Redferns
Dec. 8 is the anniversary of John Lennon's death, but it also marks the day that Darrell Abbott, aka Dimebag Darrell, founding member of the bands Pantera and Damageplan, was killed onstage during a Damageplan gig at Alrosa Villa in Columbus, OH in 2004.
Born Darrell Lance Abbott on Aug. 20, 1966 in Dallas, Texas, Abbott was born into a musical family, as his dad, Jerry Abbott, was a country & western songwriter and producer. But Abbott had different musical plans, especially after discovering the music of KISS.
He soon got serious on the guitar, entered some local competitions, and wound up winning an axe that he would eventually become closely associated with, the Dean ML.
Abbott formed Pantera in 1981, along with his brother, drummer Vinnie Paul. Though they would grow in time to become metal legends, early Pantera reflected their early '80s hard rock influences including Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe.
Pantera wound up selling more than 20 million albums thanks to classics like 'Cowboys from Hell,' 'Vulgar Display of Power' and 'Far Beyond Driven' (which debuted at No.1 in the Billboard 200). When the band publicly fell apart in 2000, Dimebag and his brother formed the band Damageplan and released an album called 'New Found Power' in 2004. He also worked with country star David Allen Coe and also guested on records by Nickelback, Anthrax and a host of others.
Tragedy struck on Dec. 8, 2004. Damageplan was performing in support of their album at a show at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio. While playing with his brother, former Halford guitarist turned vocalist Patrick Lachman and bassist Bob Zilla, Abbott was shot dead in after a crazed fan named Nathan Glee ran on stage and shot him at point blank range. Five people wound up dying in the bloody rampage, including Abbott, a fan, a venue employee, one of Darrell's bodyguards, and the shooter himself, who was shot on site by a law enforcement official present at the venue.
Theories suggested that Gale's rage might have been ignited in response to the breakup of Pantera.
The day following his brother's murder, Vinnie released the following statement:
""With all his greatness and accomplishments on the guitar, Dime will be missed more for his giving personality, charisma, caring for others, love and most of all his HEART!! Twice as big as the state of TEXAS!!!!!!!!!!!! Dime gave it all every day to each and every one of us and our lives have forever been hollowed without him...Thanks to all of you for reaching out to us in this time of our immeasurable loss. REST IN PEACE BROTHER DIME!!!!!!"
Darrell 'Dimebag' Abbott, a shredding metal legend, is buried at Moore Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Arlington, Texas.