Today marks the 15th anniversary of the death of PANTERA guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott. Abbott, one of the most beloved and respected musicians in metal world.
Dimebag was shot onstage during a DAMAGEPLAN concert on this date in 2004 at the Alrosa Villa club in Columbus, Ohio by a 25-year-old ex-Marine named Nathan Gale.
Gale murdered a total of four people and wounded three others before being killed himself by police officer James D. Niggemeyer, who arrived on the scene minutes after Gale began his rampage.
Abbott‘s death was a devastating blow to the close-knit hard rock and metal community. He was known to his fellow musicians for his hospitality, friendship and partying spirit, and was a legend among fans and peers for his powerful, innovative and unmistakable playing style.
Other musicians on Dimebag:
Corey Taylor (SLIPKNOT): “Every time I hung out with Dime, dude, it was just laughing. I just remember laughing my a*s off, ’cause he was just one of the funniest guys, you know. And he was just one of the best dudes, man, and probably one of the best guitar players I’ve ever seen. Not only live, but just everything, you know. He just made it look f*ckin’ effortless.”
Rob Halford (JUDAS PRIEST) on Abbott‘s legacy: “His music will live forever, and that’s the wonderful thing about what we do as recorded musicians — our music will be around a lot longer than we will. So we have his music to cherish, and he still will be an inspiration to guitar players, as he was with PANTERA and with DAMAGEPLAN. So, you know, we’ll miss him dearly.”
David Draiman (DISTURBED): “During our second Ozzfest, we were holed up in Dallas for about two or three days … hanging out at Dime‘s place — it was an eclectic house. There’s all kinds of PANTERA memorabilia and Dimebag memorabilia all over the place. But you could never make the mistake of falling asleep at Dime‘s. He’d wake you up the way he always did: with firecrackers. He’d always set off an entire chain of firecrackers not two inches from my head. One time … Dime took us to a strip club where we all judged a bikini contest. There was never a wrong time in the day for Dime to hit a strip club. … Dime was just this character who was very easy to love. He didn’t have a bad bone in his body, and was ready to give you the shirt off his back at all times. It was his mission in life to make sure every single moment you spent with him was the best moment of your life. He was selfless.”
Zakk Wylde (BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, OZZY OSBOURNE): “Whenever you were around Dime, there was never a boring moment. He was the coolest guy on the planet. He was an even better person than he was a guitar player, if that’s even possible. Whenever me and him would hook up, forget about it, bro. We’d always have to have a spare kidney, liver and pancreas on ice.”
Brian Fair (SHADOWS FALL): “Dime seemed to have a real problem with the clock on our tour bus. It all started with his tour manager trying to tell him it was time to leave. … We were having a good old time and Dime didn’t want to go to bed. So, as soon as he was told it was time to leave, he grabbed the clock off of the wall and screams at the top of his lungs, ‘There is no time!’ and he smashed his hand right through it. The clock was made of glass and metal, and shrapnel flew everywhere. He went through three clocks on our bus like that. Anytime anyone tried to tell him it was time to go, he’d destroy the clock. He didn’t want to end the party — he wanted it to keep going. We kept replacing the clock because we wanted to see what happened next.”