December 9, 2004 by

Dimebag Darrell


Categories: Musicians

dimebag.jpgDarrell Abbott, guitarist of the heavy metal band Damageplan, was murdered on Dec. 8. He was 38.
Damageplan were performing at the Alrosa Villa, a nightclub in Columbus, Ohio, when a man jumped on stage and shot Abbott several times. The gunman, 25-year-old Nathan M. Gale, shot and wounded a bouncer who tried to tackle him, then began firing into the crowd. Three other people — Damageplan bodyguard Jeff Thompson, 40; fan Nathan Bray, 23; and Erin Halk, 29, who worked at the club — were slain before a police officer was able to shoot and kill Gale. Three others were also wounded in the attack.
Darrell and Vincent Abbott were born and raised in Dallas-Fort Worth. Their father, country & western songwriter/producer Jerry Abbott, owned a recording studio and often brought the boys to work. Although Vinnie became a drummer, Darrell was a natural on the guitar. Guitarists Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads and Ace Frehley of KISS heavily influenced his style (Darrell even tattooed Frehley’s image and signature onto his body).
The brothers, then known as Diamond Darrell and Vinnie Paul, formed Pantera in 1981 with singer Terrence Lee and bassist Rex Brown. Originally a glam rock group, Pantera released its recordings under the Abbotts’ Metal Magic label. Once singer Phil Anselmo joined the group in 1988, however, Pantera streamlined its sound into an angry, hard-core metal. Darrell then dumped his former nickname and adopted a new moniker: Dimebag Darrell.
Pantera quickly found an audience with disaffected youths. The band signed with Atlantic’s Atco Records imprint and released the breakthrough album “Cowboys From Hell” in 1990. Pantera’s 1994 album “Far Beyond Driven” entered the Billboard chart at No. 1 and sold 1.4 million copies in the United States. The band earned Grammy Award nominations for best metal performance in 1995 and 2001, but personal politics lead to the group’s break-up in 2002.
A year later, the Abbott brothers formed Damageplan with singer Pat Lachman and bassist Bob “Zilla” Kakaha. The group’s debut, “New Found Power,” was released in February and sold 160,000 copies.
“[Darrell’s] the type of guy that would do anything for his friends,” Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian said in a VH-1 interview. “He really did put his family and his friends first, and for him everyone was his family. Once you came into contact with Dimebag and became friends with that guy, it was a sacred bond.”
[Update: A memorial for Dimebag Darrell will be held on Dec. 14 at the Convention Center in Arlington, Texas.]
Listen to a Tribute From NPR
Watch the Video for “Breathing New Life”
New Found Power Download “New Found Power”

92 Responses to Dimebag Darrell

  1. Omar Al-Wardian

    What a sad time… Darrell you didn’t deserve this and it makes me so sad/angry… you will be missed by all, your life ended so prematurely and words cannot describe what we all would do to have you back… God Bless you and know that we will never forget you.
    Rest In Peace brother.

  2. tolits a.k.a. "king_namo" "dj_fix"

    you are one of the reasons why i wanted to play guitar. you are an inspiration, but now you are immortalized. thanks for the riffs and the good times.

  3. Jrod

    poor dimes. Looking back it seems all the crap with phills heroin habbit got you killed and now it seems hardly fair that saving a friend should get you killed. You will be rememberd

  4. Kristian aka BlueShred

    … you were simply the best damn metal guitarist of all time!!! we all feel that we’ve lost not only an inspiration but also a friend. we will miss you and will continue to fuckin rock for you!!!

  5. bull-teeth

    its been great growing up with ur riffs even way back pantera years….. you will be remembered…. metal music lives on, and your music will remain in us!!!!! rest in peace brother…

  6. howy blount

    Dimebag- hey man im gonna miss you. you were the best. the first song i ever learned to play was Walk. i wore my pantera shirt the day you died. i promise you i’ll wear it every year on december 8 for years to come. take care

  7. neil

    i was playing dimebag’s signature dimeslime guitar when i recieved the message of his death and it stuck me to tears. fck’n HOSTILE u will be remembered always.

  8. Shari Forst

    It’s absolutely frightening when a musician can get gunned down while he is performing.
    My condolences to Darrell’s family, this is simply horrendous.

  9. Jim Lagado

    fans of pantera here in the philippines are weeping over dimebag’s death..the powerful riffs of his guitar will forever remain blasting our speakers…rest in peace..

  10. jeffbeck

    i learned to play the guitar cuz of you.. some say he’s just a dead man,why feel awful bout em..
    they don’t know a thing about you,you are my icon,every music played,every riffs made,all that i made possible cuz of didn’t treat me as a fan,you made all of us feel like we’re a member of pantera,you made us one can replace my man,you’ll never be forgotten.not only in my guitar you’ll be, but also im my heart.. ciao brother.

  11. Jen

    Any of us who have lived in Arligton Texas have been touched in some way by Dimebag and Vinnie, hell all of these guys. I remember when they were “these guys we hung around with sometimes.” I never thought I would see this happen let alone to a more beautiful soul. This world will never be the same. Cheers Dime.

  12. Melon

    I don’t know what to write. I just can’t stand that you have been killed in such a way. When I remember what you have created… Well, if the God is really there, than he has the ultimate band.

  13. Gib in s.a.

    It only took a few notes to know it was you behind that fretboard, You had “IT” when it came to making an original sound and style, you and Randy are the reasons I play today, You will never be forgotten. R.I.P. brother.

  14. wazburn

    Dime, you will never die in us, your music will remain fuckin alive and roaming from distance to distance!!! beer brother!!!il see you again

  15. Cassie

    AUGUST 20, 1966 – DECEMBER 8, 2004

  16. Fred

    I had the opportunity to meet Dime at Rockys nightclub in Charlotte NC many years ago. My friend Tripp McNeil of the band Seducer invited me to this knowing Dime would be dropping by after his Pantera gig. Dimebag was a great guitarist and one of the nicest people I have met. The Heavy Metal community has lost a great musician.

  17. JimCrosson

    Well I heard the news today, I can’t believe what they say, another legend lies dead, another hero’s legacy, a memory to never shed, too young to be a memory. Dime, YOU were the reason I picked up the guitar, you gave me musical desire and every drink I drink goes to you. You were a rebel and my influence to be me, not take shit, stand out from conformity and not care what anyone thought. I never got to meet you but from you’re words and seeing you live I could see you’re heart was as big as the power behind you’re guitar and I cried for you’re loss for the first time in years. As Zakk said, being a guitarist is belonging to a brotherhood. We just lost a brother who was, and STILL IS AND FOREVER, the world over!!! You are loved and missed BROTHER DIME!!! Thanks for all you gave the world!

  18. John R.

    I will always remember your contribution to the music world, and I’ll always celebrate your love of life. You always will be a HERO to me. You are the best Dime, and I’ll pay tribute to you every day I’m alive. Much Love and Respect!!
    John R. S.D.M.F.04

  19. Vinicius

    N’ao sei se voces vao enteder, sou um fa Brazileiro e estou muito triste ate hoje com essa fatalidade. Todos tabem aq no Brasil estao tristes e vao sentir muito sua falta!!!

  20. Ishmael

    The best guitarist i have ever known
    when i heard the damn thing that happen to my favourite guitar icon,I was devastated!!!
    another great talent was lost,another LEGEND pass away but remain as the greatest guiatrist for because of the great music composed and the most undeniable sounds

  21. Mike

    The unbalievable news i got the morning of December 9, 2004 forever changed my life. I lost the most influential person i ever had. If it wasnt for dudes like Dimebag Darrell, my band would not exist today. Somthing I love and charish doing.
    Dime. thanks for all the inspiation, and all those whoop ass shows I seen from you. R.I.P my fellow shedder. You will be missed beyond belief.

  22. Fake

    I’m a drummer but for me Dime was a god, I saw him for the first time in 1997 in Mexico City with Kiss, I read Dime said that show was a dream come true…I totally understand what he said…It was a dream for me as well!!…You’ll be missed forever by this fan south the boarder!!
    Sigue haciendo m

  23. Ishmael

    My inspiration through my DARKEST HOURS….The music from Pantera which i idolised since was born with my guitar….
    the best,no,the most pernicious sounds I ever heard!!!
    You always ROCK me and I’m sure that as long as I hear and play those DEVASTATING sounds you’ve created,I will never forget you BROTHER….
    Long Live to”The Father of Heavy Grind Metal”

  24. Dime333_87_Rocker

    man, i was in sooo much pain when you died! and the shitty thing was i heard about it on my b-day!!!!! so because of you i became an excellent guitarist!!!! i will never get tired of jaming out for tunes on my guitar, or in my car!!!!!
    you were and are the best, just keep on rocking then riffs and mad ass solos!!!
    peace out,

  25. Drunkensoul

    Never thought this shit would happen, i wrote a song on the guitar called dime-solution.It talks about Gale gettin his fuckin ass whipped for eternity. RIP Dime. Miss Ya Bro

  26. Mateo Boost

    My guitar playing began with “Come as you are” in 1995, continued with “Enter Sandman” in 1996, and finally found a permanent happy home with all of Dimebag’s songs in 1997! Truly the sickest style and tone ever…should have gotten more than a blurb in Roling Stone upon his death, thats for sure. Will be sorely missed. RIP.

  27. allan

    It only took a few notes to know it was you behind that fretboard, You had “IT” when it came to making an original sound and style, you and Randy are the reasons I play today, You will never be forgotten. R.I.P. brother.

  28. allan of philippines

    Dime, you will never die in us, your music will remain fuckin alive and roaming from distance to distance!!! beer brother!!!il see you again

  29. Ben

    I still cant believe this tragedy, Dime was a genius and he will never be forgotten. He was the reason i took up guitar and i will play cemetary gates every december 8th in honour of the great man. Pantera helped me through some tough times and will for many years to come.
    Fuking Hostile
    R.I.P Bro

  30. laurent.B

    A very Great Band!!I’d Rather he would be the guy that die after us , he really deservered to live longer and show us the genuine way to play rock!May your Electric Spirit Never Be Forgotten!We’ll mIss You!
    Only The Strong Will Survive
    Laurent B (Reunion Island)

  31. Gerardo

    Time is passing by and the hurting it’s still feeling like the first day.
    I love you so much brother that sometimes I feel so weak that I cannot handle it and broke into tears.
    You make me so happy, make me sad, you make me laugh, you make me cry, you live in my veins.
    Always thinking of you brother,
    I’ll see you in a better place.

  32. Kyle and Jonathan

    His solos will forever live on in music history and never will there be another like him. I first started listening to them after he was taken form us, but now I wish that I would of listened to them long ago and gone to see him rock on the guitar. R.I.P forever Dimebag. We’ll foever miss you but never forget you!!!!

  33. ac666

    Hearing about Dime’s passing put me into a state of complete shock for a good hour. A great guitarist and human being.
    R.I.P. – Your music and spirit will ALWAYS be a part of me.

  34. Sinew

    “Bottle of Corwn, Bottle of Cuervo, Bottle of Jager.
    still going… WATCH IT GO” – “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott
    your life was taken to early you will always be missed. For every life taken there is another child born, it doesn’t make it better and it doesn’t make it right i’m just thankful everyday that you came in my life

  35. Dakota Hunter

    Now there will never be another like the great Dimebag Darrell.
    . Walk
    . Hersey
    . Domination
    . Im Broken
    . Cowboys from Hell
    Even more by the great!

  36. david

    dimebag u were one ofthe best my metal live on we will miss u
    R.I.P dimebag
    i have all ur guitars my fav is the tribute 1 u rocked like no other now ROCK on in heaven

  37. adam

    dimebag ruled he is such and inspiration to every1 he was the most kolliest dude ever he really didant deserve to die miss you dimebag!!!!!!!!

  38. dylan

    u were great and u always will u will not be forgotin and never will couse ur hope and talent enspired so many poeple
    r.i.p dimebag

  39. Kevin

    R.I.P. Dimebag, a brother and an amazing guitarist lost. You will forever have a place in our hearts, you will be missed. You own.
    Nathan Gale shall burn in hell.

  40. b.v.

    i hope dimebag will find nathan gale in hell, where he can torture him till the end of the world.
    really, after about 1 year, it still makes me so fkin sad.
    so undeserved.
    he was too young. who knows what more great songs, solos, riffs, bands and guitars he could have brought on?
    Gale. i hope you will suffer. alot.

  41. Eugen

    Dear Dimebag Darrell, its like i would write to you in Heaven , but i wish it wouldn,t be so.For so long you rocked the world most hard. Curse that Gale , i hope that he will burn in hell and remain there for ever.I miss you Dime , wish you were alive. From all my heart i want to tell you that there was no other guitarist better than you and there will never be one.I wish i would be like you . I hope i will become a good rocker just like you Dime

  42. claudio

    today is the 3 anniversary and im so sadly, dimebag changed my life as a musician, he has his own style he not deserve to die
    fuck!! i love this guy

  43. Dave

    Not right…
    Dimebag Darrell Lance Abbott
    August 20, 1966 – December 8, 2004
    The Best Of The Best
    May His Finally Soul Rest
    A Brother Till’ The End
    “This Is Killing A Friend”

  44. Imtiaz

    I respected Darrell so much that i formed a band in the name of his tittle i.e “ABBOTT”. And our tilltle song is based upon him, the song is called “R.I.P”

  45. Patrick Denter

    Only the best die young, why???
    You are certainly one of the best, I love you & your sound on your guitar, you are one of the best fucking inspiration to me and I shall never forget you, you and Pantera will ever stay in my heart, you gave me hope and I will always miss you. I also play guitar and when I do I so often thing of you because you give me the strengh, the power, the might!!! I know you are immortal and like Cliff Burton, you will ROCK ON IN ANOTHER WORLD my friend. I will never forget you brother, like to C U after my death, because I never got the chance to do in your life. You are more than a human, you are legend and they never DIE!!! FACT IS, YOU´RE STRONGER THAN ALL:-) !

  46. Dawn Paauwe

    I was looking for an article on when and how Dimebag died… little did I know it was the 4th aniversary of his death today… I’m truly sorry for this loss.. He was and still is a true legend.. even when all of Pantera is dead they willl ALWAYS be remembered all over the world….. P.s I LOVE THE VULGAR VIDEOS!

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