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Dimebag Darrell Tribute Summary & Thoughts

By: Frank Hill
Published: Sunday, December 12, 2004
Show: MTV2' Headbanger's Ball
Date: 12.11.04
Special: Tribute to Dimebag Darrell (1966-2004)
Host: Dave Mustaine
Time: 1 hour

Sitting in all black in an all black set with a touch of red (I'm reminded of Dimebag's beard), Megadeth frontman, Dave Mustaine, starts the show with usual hardcore host, Jamey Jasta on the phone talking about the incident.

Dave goes into a story about calling Dimebag for getting into Megadeth with DD saying that if he comes, his brother Vinny Paul would have to come as well. It's a fairly touching story highlighting the strength of the brothers and DD's devotion in the face of pre-stardom.

News reports are shown from 12.9.04 with some man-on-the-street interviews with the club patrons and Pantera/Damageplan fans.

Video: Pantera "Cowboys From Hell"


Dave starts another story about when he was asked about his influences and a dig he threw at Pantera. He noted that it was all water under the bridge at this point.

Ozzy Quote is shown.

Video: Damageplan "Breathing New Life"

Quotes are shown on screen from Zakk Wylde, Scott Ian and Vinny


Another story from Dave about when the boys all toured together and DD got a tattoo that said "Black Tooth Grin" which came from a line in the Megadeth song "Sweating Bullets": 'Some day you too will know my pain/And smile it’s blacktooth grin'.

A short piece is shown on DD's history in Pantera and the forming of Damageplan.

Video: Pantera "Walk"

Same quotes from before are repeated.

Scott Ian is on the phone giving his thoughts on playing concerts now and sending out some kind words to the families.

Video: Damageplan "Explode"


Quotes repeated with fan quote.

Dave finishes with a commentary about how metalheads are usually seen as hateful, but there's plenty of love in the metal community and even though the songs are full of aggression and anger that we can all enjoy the music without the crazy actions.

Video: Pantera "Cemetary Gates" with the humbling last image of a gravesite.

End of Show.

Overall there wasn't a lot of time spent on the details of the shooting and it probably would've been nice to see more about the other victims. The focus on Darrell and even though it could've taken up the entire HB2 timeslot, it was nice of them to put the special together so soon.


Nirvana may be widely concidered the commercial kill to the hair decade, but us headbangers know that Pantera was the real demolition crew that moved metal into the next decade.

By 1991, Metallica had become a bloated, commercial giant and a savior was needed on the American metal scene. Pantera was this band. 1990's 'Cowboys From Hell' still had some of the stylings of the 80's, but in early 1992, the next CD 'Vulgar Display of Power' had a power groove that was as heavy in atmosphere as anything to date. Their devastating sound would be highly influential for the next half-dozen years. EVERYBODY started doing the chuncky, stomp riffs in those records. It was a big part of the Nu Metal sound and it is still a major part of the current New Wave of American Heavy Metal scene.

The man behind those brutal guitar riffs was Dimebag Darrell. Formerly known as 'Diamond Darrell' (real name Darrell Abbott), the band shed their prior image for a street attitude that was soaked in power, anger, aggression and alcohol. 80's guitar playing was widely influenced by melodic master shredders like Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads, Ynwie Malmsteen and Kirk Hammett, but after 10 years a new style was needed. Darrell's tense, forceful riffs, along with contemporary Zakk Wylde, would propel hard-edged playing back to the forefront.

Eventually, Pantera would fracture and Darrell was into the touring of his new band Damageplan when the shooting happened.

The March 2004 issue of Guitar World magazine, whom he wrote for, includes a list of the 100 greatest heavy metal guitarists as selected by the magazine's staff with Darrell at #7. On the cover he was sitting on a throne with the words "King Darrell" around him. The story behind the picture is that he wouldn't sit in it until the photographer did first. A lot of words have been said about Dimebag, and a while back on our on message board we asked opinions of what people really thought Dimebag was like behind the media image. The best answer was probably given by member Neekoy who simply wrote: "Fucking champ." --R.I.P

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