C O L U M N S
Tales From The Jugular - Dimebag: The Metal World Loses One of Their Beloved Six String Slayers
I wont claim I was a huge Pantera fan, I have maybe only one of their cds in my
collection.. I wont even insult you by saying I worshipped Dimebag"
Darrell Abbott who performed with the band Pantera before forming Damageplan. What I will
tell you is that the recent slaying of Abbott and three others by a 25-year-old man ,
named Nathan Gale, who stormed the stage at a heavy-metal rock concert Wednesday December
8, put a blight on the rock/metal world and brought back in stomach churning reality
Lennons untimely death 24 years ago. Check your calendars, the shooting happened
exactly 24 years after John Lennon was shot to death outside his New York apartment
building by a deranged fan.
Abbott and his brother, sons of country music songwriter Jerry Abbott, formed the now
legendary band Pantera in 1982. This vigorous band stormed out of Texas and signed with
Atlantic records in 1990. While Pantera set the metal work on its edge, Abbott came into
his own as a respected rock/metal guitar player with a frenetic style that many emulated
and adored. With an Ace Frehley tattoo on his chest and a legion of fans in his tow,
Abbott emulated the musicians musician. In a statement posted on the band's Web
site, drummer Lars Ulrich of Metallica, noted that, "Darrell and his brother (drummer
Vinnie Paul Abbott) were the cornerstone of musical adventures that were always
groundbreaking, pushing boundaries, challenging to themselves and to their fans, respected
by their peers and always true musicians' musicians," he said. "Today the rock
world is worse off because of this untimely and senseless waste."
Guitar World magazine recently named Abbott one of the Top-10 heavy metal guitarists ever.
Others on the list? Eddie Van Halen and Jimmie Page. Abbott was certainly keeping good
So, at the end of the day what can we learn from this tragedy? Life is short, so live for
the moment? Fame carries with it pain and vulnerability? The world of rock and metal or
music for that matter will always carry with it a twinge of being ephemeral? Perhaps
its a bit of all three. For me, it means that I will continue to never take music
for granted, because whether it has been Johannes Bach or Sebastian Bach, music has always
been the bookmark for the events of my life, the soundtrack for the good and the bad times
and a constant companion when other more worldly friends have gone by the
wayside. Perhaps the greatest lesson we can learn is that we shouldnt wait for a
senseless tragedy to jumpstart our appreciation of those that create because whether
its a ripping metal guitar riff, a perfectly executed drum fill or a dynamic pitch
pounding through a p.a. system, artists make our world better, different and worth being a
part of whether we are just listening to them from the sidelines or sharing the stage and
spotlight with them.
Dimebag may have left us before we were ready to say goodbye, but he was kind enough to
leave gifts that will be with us forever. In his music, his life doesnt end in a
small Ohio nightclub, it breathes on staring back at you in the reflection of a cd.
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