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What Would Dimebag Do

Various forms of acknowledgment have gone on since that fateful day it was reported that "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott was gunned down during a Damageplan concert on December 8--hundreds of metal brothers and sisters came out with stories that were earnest and heartfelt: MTV2 and FUSE TV aired special episodes of Headbanger's Ball and Uranium, organizers from all over the world set up memorial benefit concerts to raise money for everybody killed and various websites have written pieces expressing grief and anger over the incident and how it affected the metal world in general. It's been a little over month and you can do a search and find fans who have gotten tribute tattoos that are posted online.

What the vast majority did was express a heartfelt connection to a man that touched them personally and through his music.

I can't say that I felt exactly what I wanted to write about Dimebag after it happened. I didn't know him personally; never met him and had an anecdotal story to share. One thing that seemed to ring through all the tales was that he was a nice guy who would do about anything for even a casual acquaintance. People were talking about him in reverent words--like a god...a guitar god.

  • "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!!!!!!!!!!!!" --Vinnie Paul - DAMAGEPLAN, PANTERA

  • "Dimebag was such a really nice genuine bloke and a great player. He was always very respectful towards me and it was lovely to have him on tour with us." --Tony Iommi - BLACK SABBATH

  • "I can honestly say that hanging out with Dime was some of the funnest times of my life. I really looked up to him as a person, and, of course, as a guitar hero." --Kirk Windstein - CROWBAR

  • "Darrell was incredibly warm, open, fun, nutty, forthcoming, talented, embracing, unpretentious, accommodating and he always had a very attractive innocence about him that obviously made him never threatening and always welcoming." --Lars Ulrich - METALLICA

  • "...he seemed like such a gentle and kind man. He had a great sense of humor and was someone that everyone in the room gravitated toward. He never carried himself like the big rock star that he really was, instead he came across humble and appreciative." --Rich Ward - FOZZY, STUCK MOJO

  • "Dimebag was the kind of guy you could hang out with for 2 seconds and feel like you knew him your whole life. He made you laugh, made you drink, but most of all made you feel special." --Corey Taylor - SLIPKNOT

  • "He was beyond beautiful. When he'd walk in the room, he'd light it up...All he wanted to do was make everyone happy. He was the ray of sunshine." --Zakk Wylde - OZZY OSBOURNE

    Somehow my stream of consciousness led me to those "WWJD" (What Would Jesus Do?) bracelets which serve as a close reminder for Christians to think of their Saviors thoughts when they feel indecisiveness to just think to themselves--What would Jesus Do? Not comparing the two individuals on any humanistic or historic scale, I started thinking--WWDD: "What Would Dimebag Do?" The letters looked nice and balanced together--WWDD--and I thought it would be hella awesome to have a black or brown leather snap bracelet with those letters stamped into it.

    And I started to play out some questioning, not with a flippant attitude, mind you, but with respectful, smiling veneration:

    What if I was down to my last brew and my pal was reaching for it at the same time?
    WWDD--Say "Hey, buddy, it's all you", give him the beer, and go do a shot.

    Do I give up on learning this guitar riff because my fingers hurt?
    WWDD--crank those amps up and play till your fingers bleed, mother fucker!

    I don't know how true any of it would be, but why knock a nice thought, y'know? Not being a leather crafter, I couldn't just make one (maybe?), so my other half came up with a simple solution--take a pen or marker and write 'WWDD' on your wrist lengthwise just below your thumb where your pulse is. Its placement is easy to see and the gesture is personal enough not to be overtly sentimental. Try it out as a pleasant reminder between yourself and your headbanging buddies as a sign that only you all know about. Maybe it could be something for fans to do each December 8th for remembrance. If somebody wants to know what it's for or gives you any hassle over it; smile a black-toothed grin, flip the devil horned salute and say:

    "It's for a brother."


    "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott 8/20/66 - 12/08/04 RIP






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