This December 8th marks the 12th anniversary of the tragic on stage murder of PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN guitarist, Dimebag Darrell, one of the greatest guitar players in heavy metal history. Dime was truly one of a kind, and a master of improvisation on the six strings. “If you improvise a riff and the crowd immediately reacts to it, you know you’re on to something,” the legendary shredder once stated. But beyond his uncanny music prowess, Darrell Abbott, a native of Arlington, Texas was simply a special human being that you will find people of all walks of life who had a personal encounter with him learned firsthand what a gentleman he was despite the tough, rock God exterior. An Arlington native got the shock of their life one day when their car broke down in town and they looked up to see a truck pull up to lend assistance.
That man who stopped to help was none other than Dimebag Darrell. “He would give you the shirt off his back” is the saying… well, that was Darrell without a doubt. Despite the fact that he was a rich man who attained international stardom as a musician, he never let it go to his head. Dime always stayed on the ground level. Buying drinks for fans after shows, inviting them over to his home, setting off fireworks in his backyard for the hell of it although it was not July 4th – he totally broke the mold when it came to being a famous celebrity.
“Musicians tend to get bored playing the same thing over and over, so I think it’s natural to experiment”, Dime said. “When I tried to play something and screwed up, I’d hear some other note that would come into play. Then I started trying different things to find the beauty in it.”
It’s hard to believe a dozen years have nearly passed since Dime was murdered on the stage at the Alrosa Villa club in Columbus, Ohio, along with several other innocent people. He remains one of the finest examples of when a world class musician’s talents are surpassed by the ‘goodness’ of the person. Dime loved his fans more than anything. Let us remember both the goddamn electric guitar hero and the fine human being.