Former Pantera and Damageplan guitarist ‘Dimebag’ Darrell died 7 years ago today. His murder was a story which shocked the whole rock and metal music world.
Born Darrell Abbott on August 20, 1966 in Ennis, Texas, he formed the heavy metal band Pantera with his brother Vinnie Paul on drums in 1981. Finally settling on a line up encompassing lead singer Phil Anselmo and bass player Rex Brown, Pantera began as a glam metal band before changing their plan of attack with their seminal heavy metal album Cowboys From Hell in 1991.
Dimebag’s talent was obvious to fans and his contemporaries and he was offered the chance to join Megadeth in 1987. Dimebag was certainly talented enough to join the thrash legends possessing the skill and speed to match Dave Mustaine. But the offer was turned down because Dime didn’t want to be separated from his brother.
When Pantera did split up Dimebag continued to work with Vinnie Paul. They released an album, Rebel Meets Rebel, with country music artist David Allan Coe. Their latest project was the heavy metal band Damageplan, which had plans to record a second album.
On December 8, 2004, Dimebag was performing with Damageplan in Columbus, Ohio, when 25-year-old Nathan Gale approached the stage. Gale began firing at the band and audience, killing 5 people. One of the victims was Dime who died onstage. He was 38 years old. Dime was buried in a Kiss Kasket with Eddie Van Halen’s own famous yellow and black ‘bumblebee’ guitar.
The five ‘proper’ Pantera albums (Cowboys From Hell, Vulgar Display Of Power, Far Beyond Driven, The Great Southern Trendkill, and Reinventing The Steel) are still perfect examples of what heavy metal is. For over 20 years Dimebag’s guitar playing illuminated and astounded the metal world. Dimebag’s was a talent that drove Pantera’s sound and influenced the next generation of heavy metal guitarists.