Sunday, December 8, 2013
Nine years ago today we lost a modern day legend. Dimebag Darrell Abbot was senselessly taken from us far too soon in an event that shook the heavy metal community. I was 20 years old and had just come home from class at the local community college I was going to at the time when I logged on to the internet and the first thing I see is a front page news article that said the following:
"HEAVY METAL GUITARIST SHOT DEAD AT CONCERT"
The picture under the headline was of Dimebag, and before I could even click to read the rest of it, I felt my heart sink. I felt tears start to drop down my cheeks. I couldn't believe what the fuck I was reading...and I hadn't even clicked on the link yet to read the whole story.
We all know what happened to Dimebag. We all know how tragic and senseless it all was and all the ramifications that came from it as time went on. What I want to talk about here is what Dimebag Darrell meant to me.
In my youth, I was a devoted metal head. Most of the crowd I ran with were metal heads as well, although they were more into Korn and Limp Bizkit than Megadeth and Slayer like I was (granted I guess I indulged a bit in the "nu-metal" wave that was escalatingly popular back then, just to be a poser douche I guess in retrospect), but above nearly all the metal bands I loved, I loved none more than Pantera. There was so much to love about Pantera that really spoke to me personally: Phil Anselmo's angst-ridden lyrics, the ballsy and dark subject matter, and of course those shredding, extreme, cock fucking your ear guitar solos that helped set Pantera apart from most of the rest of the pack. Their music spoke to me, and I loved them so fucking much.
I had gotten to see Pantera five times in concert before their breakup. At one of those shows I got to meet Dimebag in person. I was a teenager. He gave me a beer. From that point forward he was my favorite in the whole world.
Besides that, it was Dimebag's manner and how he presented himself to the fans and to others. He never came off with that "rockstar" attitude where by the end of talking to him you thought that he was a total ass hole. He was just one of the guys. He never let success and all the admiration he had received over the years get to his head. Dimebag (and generally speaking most of Pantera) treated their fans wonderfully. Always happy to sign autographs. Always smiling. Always having the time of his life on stage like he was a kid all over again.
That was Dimebag Darrell.
The events that led to Dime's death make his untimely death all the more tragic. The heavy metal community has never been the same since, and in all honesty it never really will be ever again. That's how beloved and revered Dime was, and just how unforgettable he ended up proving to be, as an artist and a person.
Nine years gone Dime, and we all still miss you madly.