"some music was meant to stay underground..."

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Formed: 1982
From: Dallas, TX, United States
Last Known Status: Disbanded


Formed in Dallas in the early 80's, Pantera was founded by brothers Darrell and Vincent Abbott. Along with Terrence Lee and a bassist named Rex Brown, Pantera joined the glam scene. Producing three records, the band never accomplished what they set out to do. In 1986 the members agreed to replace Terrence Lee with Phillip Anselmo. After Releasing aother album the band recieved a record deal with East West Records.

The groups first release with the new label was 'Cowboys From Hell.' This album put Pantera on the metal map, but did not sell very well because mainstream never picked it up. Two years later Pantera released 'Vulgar Display of Power', which defined Pantera's true aggressive style. The next release (Far Beynd Driven) surprised the world by debuting at number one on the Billboard Charts. Pantera released two more studio albums, and a live album in the following years.

Even though they never reached the status of No.1 again, Pantera built a following by touring for four years straight. Pantera have toured with everyone from Slayer (2001) to Rob Zombie (1996). They have also been featured on the Ozzfest on many occasions. Needless to say Pantera are still playing and preaching the same metal that made them metal icons in the early 90's.

Latest Pantera News

Below is our complete Pantera news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.

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Vinnie Paul Will Never Be At Peace w/ Dimes Death

The December 2005 issue of Guitar World magazine (web site) contains an exclusive, in-depth interview with former PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott. In the 10-page cover story (view cover here), Vinnie speaks for the first time about Dimebag's murder, the possibility of a PANTERA reunion prior to Dimebag's death, Vinnie's future plans as a musician, and his favorite memories of Dimebag, among many other topics. A few excerpts from the chat follow:

Guitar World: Dime had a reputation for hard living and hard drinking, but what's less known is that he had a serious side and could be remarkably focused. What are some instances in which you saw this side of him?

Vinnie Paul: "Throughout his career, he was always really focused on everything. Toward the end, about a year before all this happened, he really started to develop the business side of himself. He was so proud of his new line of guitars with Dean Guitars and his new amp with Krank Amplification. He probably took that stuff more seriously than anything. He didn't want his name on a piece of shit. He wanted it to be on something that was special, so when somebody got it, they went, 'Wow, this is the best guitar I've ever picked up,' or this is the most kick-ass sounding amp I've ever played.' Dime was all over it with both companies, and that was something I was so proud of him for.

"Some people have this misconception that the dude was loaded 24/7, but he wasn't. He'd do it when he felt like he needed to do it, and then he would back off for two or three days. In truth, we never really did that much drinking before we went onstage. We'd do two or three shots, just enough to get loosened up, and then mayne a couple more while we were playing. It was when we were done playing, after we'd kick everybody's fucking ass and given them everything they came for, that's when the booze would really start to flow. That's when it was time to take the roof off the fucking place."

Guitar World: In 1996, PANTERA released their darkest and most underrated album, "The Great Southern Trendkill". What's the story behind that album?

Vinnie Paul: "That was the most difficult record we ever made. We weren't falling apart, but the band was starting to go in different directions. Philip [Anselmo, PANTERA vocalist] had some well-publicized personal issues, and that made for a really dark record. At the same time, LIMP BIZKIT was blowing up and rap metal was coming in. There was a whole new scene, and people were like, 'What's PANTERA gonna do? Are they gonna do rap metal, too?' We just wanted to make the ultimate, abrasive album the industry's ever gotten. That was our response. It was the first record we made that declined in sales, but it's a platinum record today, so you can't say it wasn't successful. When it came out then, it was probably our most misunderstood record, but today I see posts on the Internet all the time saying, ''Trendkill' is my favorite album. Goddamn, that record broke the mold.' Well, too bad it took you nine fucking years to realize what we were trying to accomplish at the time! [laughs]"

Guitar World: Tell me about "Reinventing the Steel", which turned out to be the final PANTERA album.

Vinnie Paul: "I think that, next to 'Vulgar', that's probably the best record we made. By the time we made it, in 2000, everything had totally changed and music was — and still is — in a total shambles. So we wanted to make a straightforward, anthemic metal record. We wanted to keep the songs as fresh as we could, with old-school roots and new-school traits, and I think we did a really good job on it. I mean, 'Revolution Is My Name' is probably one of the best songs we ever wrote. The guitar riffs and parts Dime came up with are fucking phenomenal. There's probably five songs in that one song!"

Guitar World: PANTERA's breakup was instigated in part by the events of 9/11. Explain what happened.

Vinnie Paul: "That was pretty insane. We flew to Ireland out of JFK [International Airport] just 10 to 12 hours before that happened, man. We landed, got off the plane and people had all these terrible looks on their faces and we didn't know what the hell was going on. We just got this really weird vibe. We just felt that the best thing for us to do was cancel our European Tattoo the Earth tour with SLAYER and go home. We didn't know who was going to get attacked next. We were stranded there for, like, 10 days, and when we finally got back to Dallas, we just said, 'Hey, let's take a little break from this.' "

Guitar World: A lot of people in the metal community had been hoping PANTERA would get back together one day.

Vinnie Paul: "Let's make this clear once and for all: for any fan out there that believed any of the bullshit said by certain people, there never was going to be a PANTERA reunion, ever. If you were married to somebody for 15 or 16 years and they treated you the way we got treated, you don't go back to them, and we weren't going to do that. When we put DAMAGEPLAN together, we were done with PANTERA, but we wanted to respect the fans that loved the band. We felt as bad for them as we felt for ourselves, but we had nothing to do with it going sideways, and we gave every effort we could to keep it together."

Guitar World: Dime always insisted that DAMAGEPLAN was the real deal and not just a side project.

Vinnie Paul: "Damn straight. It was hard to let go of PANTERA and say, 'That's it. I'm done with this. I'm moving on.' Shit, that was the only life we'd ever known. After suffering what I call the defeat of PANTERA, being knocked down to nothing and having to get back up and go again when you're not 19 or 20 years old is one hell of a fucking effort, and me and Dime put everything into DAMAGEPLAN. And trust me, it took everything we had, and we dug as deep as we could. We were going for it and nothing was gonna stop us from getting there. It was just like in the early days.

"Before all of this happened, we'd already written and recorded for the second DAMAGEPLAN record. From where I stood, it looked to me like our first record, 'New Found Power', was our 'Cowboys from Hell', and the second record was gonna be our 'Vulgar Display of Power' — the record that pushed us over the top and put us on the same plateau as PANTERA. And that's what people wanted from us. Our record label was 100 percent behind us, but unfortunately we never got to see the light at the end of the tunnel, because of what happened."

Guitar World: Will those DAMAGEPLAN demos ever see the light of day?

Vinnie Paul: "Right now I'm still too flipped out to even go in the studio. I've been down there a time or two and it just wigs me completely out. But I guarantee you at some point I will do something with those tracks. Either I'll have some of Dime's favorite singers sing on 'em and turn them into jams, or maybe Pat [Lachman, DAMAGEPLAN vocalist] will sing on them and it'll be 'Damageplan II'. I don't know yet. Right now they're magic that hopefully someday everybody will get to hear, and as long I'm around, I think eventually they will get heard."

Guitar World: What else can you tell us about the night Dime was killed?

Vinnie Paul: "All I want to say right now is that things like this happen to people and sometimes, after six or eight months go by, people begin to talk and they learn more about what happened. I have a hard time believing that some nut-job just shot the best friend that I ever had for no reason. So I'd like to spread the message to anybody out there, that if you know or hear anything about it, please contact the authorities and let 'em know what you know. I just believe that there's something else out there that motivated this guy to do this. And if there is, I hope they get to the bottom of it, 'cause it's something that should've never, ever happened. It's ruined my life and it's taken away so much joy and happiness from so many people. I guess what I'm trying to find is an answer for why this happened. There has to be an answer somewhere, and I hope it comes out someday. I'll leave it at that.

"We also lost another great brother and a great friend, Mayhem [Jeffrey Thompson, bodyguard], that night. He and Dime were really close, and I know wherever they are they're together still. Also I want to send my condolences and heartfelt sorrow to the families and friends of the other two victims, Nathan Bray and Erin Halk.

"I know that Dime will live on forever, though, just like Jimi Hendrix and Randy Rhoads. It just happened way too goddamned soon. The music we made together will be around forever, but the thing that kills me is that we'll never get to do it again. We had so much more that we were gonna put out, and I know that, wherever he is, Dime's real dissatisfied that he didn't get to finish his mission."

Guitar World: Do you know what you plan to do next as a musician?

Vinnie Paul: "I've got to find the right situation. I'm not going to jump into anything, though, because I'm only just now getting to where I can wake up in the morning and just fucking breathe without having a million thoughts going through my mind. By no means will I ever be at peace with what happened, but at least I'm getting to where I can deal with it."

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Vinnie Paul Says There Were No Plans For Reunion

Former PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN drummer Vinnie Paul was recently interviewed by Guitar World magazine for its December 2005 issue. In the interview Vinnie spoke about many subjects, including the possibility of a PANTERA reunion prior to Dimebag's death and the status of unreleased video and audio recordings of Dimebag. Among the things Vinnie said:

* Vinnie confirmed that he has started a record label that will release a "DIMEvision" DVD and the DAVID ALAN COE/PANTERA project REBEL MEETS REBEL around Christmas.

* Vinnie stated that there was never going to be a PANTERA reunion, even before the tragedy with Dime.

Vinnie said, "Let's make this clear once and for all: for any fan out there that believed any of the bullshit said by certain people, there never was gonna be a PANTERA reunion, ever."

* Vinnie also informed us that DAMAGEPLAN had songs written and recorded for their sophmore album. Vinnie says he doesn't know what he is going to do with the material.

" Vinnie said, "Either I'll have some of Dime's favorite singers sing on 'em and turn them into jams, or maybe Pat (Lachman, ex-DAMAGEPLAN) will sing on them and it'll be DAMAGEPLAN 2. I don't know yet. Right now they're magic that hopefully someday everybody will get to hear, and as long as I'm around I think eventually they will get heard."

* Vinnie also talked about the pre-"Cowboys from Hell" PANTERA albums, Anselmo-era PANTERA albums, Dime getting asked to join MEGADETH, how PANTERA got signed to Atco, Meeting Alex and Eddie Van Halen, and his own musical future.

Vinnie said, "I've got to find the right situation."

* Vinnie also talked about the tragedy involving Dime. Vinnie had a special request he wanted everyone to hear.

Vinnie said, "I have a hard time believeing that some nut job just shot the best friend I have ever had for no reason. So, I'd just like to spread the message to anybody out there, that if you know or hear anything about it, please contact the authorities and let 'em know what you know."

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Officer Who Took Out Dime's Killer Recieves Honor

NBC 4 is reporting that Columbus Police Officer James D. Niggemeyer, who is widely credited for saving lives on Dec. 8, 2004 when he entered Alrosa Villa without backup and killed a crazed gunman responsible for blowing away four people, including PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, is receiving a national honor.

Niggemeyer received honorable mention in Parade magazine's 2005 Police Service Awards. His story will appear in Sunday's edition.

Niggemeyer responded to the DAMAGEPLAN concert at Alrosa Villa. Nathan Gale shot and killed four people and injured three others before Niggemeyer entered the building and killed him with one shotgun blast to the head.

"I could see he was holding a hostage around the neck and still had a gun, so I knew that I didn't want that hostage to be killed," Niggemeyer said.

"When he put the gun to the hostage's head, it became a now-or-never scenario," Niggemeyer said. "Do I let him shoot the hostage in front of everybody? Or do I take what I feel is the best shot to try to keep the hostage from being killed? ... It worked out for the best."

Niggemeyer said that while he was the first and only officer to enter the back of the club, he didn't act alone.

"That's where I have to thank all the other officers that came in the front, because I'm pretty sure that they kept his attention and allowed me to get as close as I did," he said. "And if it wasn't for those officers coming in the front, I don't know if he would've ever picked me off or not."

Niggemeyer said his mission was to save lives.

"If I had to do it again, I had to do it," Niggemeyer said. "I took an oath to protect the public."

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Italian Dimabag Tribute Album Free For Download

A 14-song Italian tribute to late PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, entitled "This Love - A Tribute to Dimebag", has been made available for free download at moshpitculture.it. The complete track listing for the effort is as follows:

01. BY THE GRIEF - "Strength Beyond Strength"
02. ATOMIC ANTS - "Mouth For War"
03. SHELTER OF LEECH - "5 Minute Alone"
04. ELEKTRIK[H]ATE - "Cowboys From Hell"
05. HAPAX - "Walk"
06. DAY1DAY - "Cemetary Gates"
07. SOWN - "Suicide Note (Southern Version)"
08. ADDICTION CREW - "This Love"
09. SHATTERED - "War Nerve"
10. REMORSE - "Domination"
11. IMODIUM - "Rise"
12. SUFFERHEAD - "Fucking Hostile"
13. ORIENT EXPRESS - "Planet Caravan"
14. EVILGROOVE - "Suicide Note (Lysergik Version)"

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Dimebag's Guitar Enshrined At Hard Rock Cafe

For heavy metal fans, the violent death of Pantera and Damageplan guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott in Dec. 2004, ranks among rock's greatest communal losses: Buddy Holly, John Lennon and Kurt Cobain.

But if "Dimebag's" murder at a Columbus, Ohio concert marks the day the metal music died, his rowdy spirit lives on as was evident at Hard Rock Cafe on Wednesday.

Abbott's live-in girlfriend, Rita Haney, and his brother and band mate, drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott, were on hand to unveil an electric guitar belonging to the murdered guitarist, among new memorabilia items installed at the restaurant.

About 150 fans clamored near the Hard Rock stage for the afternoon presentation to make a connection that even they couldn't always quite explain. "Dime," as he was known, was a different kind of rock god — accessible and down-to-earth.

"I had to be here," said Rocky Rios, 22. "He was so ... cool. At a thing like this, he'd just shake your hand."

Jessica Martin, 23, and Elliot Henry, 22, arrived together wearing Pantera T-shirts. "I'm here pretty much in tribute to him, just to show respect," Martin said.

"He's just everything to me," said Henry, who plays guitar. "I've listened to him since I was 9. The reason I love music is because of him."

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Evildoer Honour Dimebag Darrell On His Birthday

Evildoer had posted this message on their website:

Today the 20th of august we raise our Black Tooth drink honouring the late Dimebag Darrels 39th birthday! A sadly missed source of inspiration...RIP

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Remembering Dimebag on His 39th Birthday

John Austin of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has issued the following report on 'Dimebag' Darrel Abbott's 39th birthday:

"Dimebag" Darrell Abbott didn't live to see his 39th birthday. Now, the BIC flame of fandom is kept burning at the metal-guitar hero's hometown resting place.

Abbott, who attended Arlington High School and lived in Dalworthington Gardens, was gunned down Dec. 8 during an onstage attack in Columbus, Ohio.

Since then, visitors from around the world have come here to pay tribute at his grave. Abbott, with his brother, Vinnie Paul, created the ground-breaking group PANTERA before founding DAMAGEPLAN, their final band.

Today would have been Abbott's 39th birthday, and the tributes, including a planned motorcycle ride to the cemetery, continue.

"There was a report of a lady who flew all the way from Japan," to visit the grave, said Moore Memorial Gardens general manager Mike Wilfong. "At least daily there's going to be someone there."

Workers check the site daily and find everything from stuffed bears and beer cans to notes urging Abbott to "riff in peace."

One note, from "Tony and Adam," was left even before the Bermuda grass that covers the grave began growing. "We came all the way from Chicago. Just wanted to say thank you."

A brown bear had a photo of Abbott and a girl on a collar around its neck. Written on the photo: "Merry Christmas."

Abbott's body occupies an unmarked site next to his mother's grave in a family plot, but Wilfong said a "spectacular" memorial is in the works.

Meanwhile, fans are welcome to visit, provided they behave.

"I was very impressed at how respectful everyone has been," said Wilfong.

The site occupied by the body of the man believed by most to be President John F. Kennedy's killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, is arguably Tarrant County's best-known grave. Oswald's grave at Shannon Rose Hill Memorial Park in Fort Worth, is a few miles west of the guitarist's resting place.

But there are no ghostly lip prints on Oswald's grave, no guitar picks, no dimes or rain-streaked photos of an admiring fan with the man.

There's no cross made of a broken drumstick, no shot glass.

"Dear Darrell," read one note. "We met a few times but hardly spoke. I looked up to you as a guitar god and as a person..."

Nor is there a rain-stained maroon Hallmark card on Oswald's grave with this message: "Thank you not just for what you did, which was wonderful, but for the way you did it."

A handwritten card read: "Thank you Dimebag for all the years you've brightened other peoples lives with your Texas-size beard!!

"Forever missed. Forever loved."

Read the full article at Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

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Nickelback to Use Unreleased Dimebag Solo

Jon Wiederhorn of MTV.com is reporting that a previously unreleased solo by late PANTERA and DAMAGEPLAN guitarist Dimebag Darrell will appear this fall in an unlikely place: on NICKELBACK's new album, "All the Right Reasons". The guitar parts for the flailing, 24-second lead were donated by Darrell's brother, drummer Vinnie Paul, and assembled from outtakes from the PANTERA albums "Vulgar Display of Power" and "Far Beyond Driven".

The song, a tribute to Darrell titled "Side of a Bullet", was written three months after the guitarist was killed while performing onstage with DAMAGEPLAN in Columbus, Ohio. NICKELBACK mainman Chad Kroeger first penned the song's aggressive, metallic riff, then wrote call-and-response lyrics from the perspective of a PANTERA fan so enraged over Dimebag's murder that he vows revenge, not realizing the shooter had already been killed by a policeman.

"I was very upset, and for two months, if I saw his picture somewhere I would get angry," Kroeger told MTV.com. "I hadn't lost somebody to a shooting before — it wasn't as though he'd been killed in some sort of accident. He was taken in such a horrible, malicious way that just made it more painful."

Once Kroeger finished demoing "Side of a Bullet", he called up Paul and played it to him to get his take on the tune. Paul liked what he heard and urged Kroeger to write lyrics about Dime. "I said, 'Well, funny enough, that song is about your brother,' " Kroeger recalled.

Paul volunteered to play on the song, so Kroeger overnighted him the tape and encouraged him to record a new drum track over the one played by NICKELBACK drummer Daniel Adair. "He thought about it for a while," Kroeger said, "then he decided that Daniel had done such an amazing job that we should leave it the way it was. That's when he sent the guitar parts from 'Vulgar Display of Power' and 'Far Beyond Driven', which we used for the solo."

Read the full article at MTV.com.

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Down Drummer Says There Will Be A New Studio Album

In a recent interview with Metal Maniacs magazine, EYEHATEGOD/SUPERJOINT RITUAL guitarist and DOWN drummer Jimmy Bower revealed that he is "sure we'll do another DOWN record. I've talked to Phil [Anselmo, DOWN/SUPERJOINT RITUAL/ex-PANTERA frontman] and everybody else. Everybody's expressed interest in wanting to do a DOWN record, so that's basically all it takes. Hopefully within the next year or two that can happen. DOWN records are fun. Phil's doing a lot better as far as handling [Dimebag's death]. It's been a big wake-up call for a lot of people over the the last five, six months. People are doing cool things with their lives; cool, positive things. Let's save metal!"

DOWN is the New Orleans "supergroup" featuring Anselmo, Bower, Pepper Keenan (guitars, C.O.C.), Rex Brown (bass, ex-PANTERA) and Kirk Windstein (guitars, CROWBAR). The band's sophomore album, "Down II", was released in March 2002 on Elektra Records.

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Headline News

First Annual Ride For Dime Info Released

The first annual "Ride for Dime" bike rally will be held on Saturday, August 20 (late PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott's birthday) in Dallas. The event has been organized to raise money for the Dimebag Darrell Memorial Fund, which has been set up to help the victims of the Alrosa Villa shootings in Columbus, Ohio on December 8, 2004, which took the life of legendary heavy metal guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott.

The bike run, which will begin and end at The Clubhouse, will take the participants into Arlington, where Dimebag lived all of his life, with stops of interest including his favorite restaurant, Campo Verde, where the riders will eat dinner. The ride will also pass through Elkins Park, where Dimebag often went to relax, and by his high school. The route will finally pass by Moore Memorial Gardens, Dimebag's final resting place, where the riders will toss flowers near the cemetery gates as they pass by. The ride will then return to the Clubhouse, where a night of Dime-style partying will take place.

Anyone interested in participating in this ride can find registration information at http://www.dallasentertainment.com/rfd.

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Nickelback Pays Tribute To Dimebag Darrell

Nickelback's forthcoming studio album, "All The Right Reasons" will feature a tribute to Dimebag Darrell.

The track "Side of a Bullet" will serve to honour the memory of Pantera/Damageplan guitarist Dimebag Darrell. Dime collaborated with Nickelback previously on a cover of "Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)" for the Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle soundtrack.

"All the Right Reasons" is slated for a 3rd October release.

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Anselmo Posts New Southern Isolation Music Online

A previously unreleased song featuring former Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo from his ongoing Southern Isolation project has been posted on the Southern Isolation MySpace page. The song's called 'Southern Man', and the rest of the band are Stephanie Opal (vocals/guitar), Sid Montz (drums), 'Big' Ross Karpelman (keyboards) and Kevin Bond (bass). Both Montz and Bond have been associated with Crowbar.

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Officer, Dispatcher Discuss Alrosa Villa Shootings

NBC 4 has issued the following report:

The Columbus police officer who ended a nightclub shooting rampage with one shot and the radio dispatcher who guided officers to the scene discussed the incident Monday with NBC 4.

A homemade video of the shooting was released Friday. The camera was positioned at the back right portion of the stage looking into the audience as Nathan Gale began shooting during the DAMAGEPLAN concert at Alrosa Villa on Dec. 8, 2004, NBC 4's Teresa Garcia reported.

When 911 calls came in to police, dispatcher Lisa Lee stayed calm through harrowing events.

"This is probably the worst situation dispatching I've ever been in," Lee said.

Lee, who was handling the radio channel for about 30 minutes, guided officers to the scene. More...

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Headline News

Dimebag Shooting Video Released

NBC 4 has issued the following report:

A homemade video (slideshow) was released Friday (June 3) of a deadly nightclub shooting that occurred during a heavy metal concert last year.

The camera was positioned at the back right portion of the stage looking into the audience as Nathan Gale began shooting during the DAMAGEPLAN concert at Alrosa Villa on Dec. 8, 2004, NBC 4's Teresa Garcia reported.

The band had set up the camera before the show. The camera captured most of the five-minute shooting rampage. Gale shot and killed four people and injured three others before a Columbus police officer entered the building and killed him with one shotgun blast to the head.

DAMAGEPLAN began playing just after 10 p.m. About a minute later, a security guard runs off stage and within seconds, Gale can be seen on stage with a gun. He is pursued by the security guard, and the first shot is fired. More shots soon follow, and two men are hit.

One of those killed by Gale was renowned heavy metal guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott.

The crowd appears stunned, but many stay by the stage and watch.

"Call 911 somebody," one person can be heard yelling. "Somebody call 911."

Gale is still on stage. Some people try to jump on the stage to help those shot.

While one man tries to motion people away from the stage area, the chaos continues, Garcia reported.

"Get him, get him, go," one person said.

Five shots are then heard.

"He's gotta run out of ammo by now," another person said.

But Gale wasn't done.

"He reloaded man," someone said. "I know he did, dude. He reloaded. He reloaded. Get down dude, get down. No!"

After five minutes, Gale has a hostage gripped by the neck. By then, Officer James Niggemeyer had entered the back of the building. He then fired the shot that ended it all. The shot can be heard clearly on the tape.

Other officers immediately run in to assist. Niggemeyer also can be seen on stage, clearly shaken by what just occurred.

Some people in the club immediately approach him and thank him for what he did and pat him on the back.

"He had his gun to his head," one man said. "You had to do it."

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Niggemeyer Talks About Deadly Nightclub Shooting

Ohio's NBC 4 is reporting that a Columbus police officer talked publicly for the first time about a deadly shooting at an Ohio nightclub which claimed the lives of five people, including PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott.

Officer James Niggemeyer was the first officer to arrive at the Alrosa Villa nightclub in December after a gunman killed four people and took another hostage at a DAMAGEPLAN concert.

With no backup, Niggemeyer did what he felt was necessary to save lives. He fired one shot and killed Nathan Gale, who was on stage and still had the hostage locked in his arms.

"You just hope you never are involved in something like this," Niggemeyer said of the incident. More...

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Vinnie Paul To Continue w/ Revolver Advice Column

Despite a previous announcement to the contrary, PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN drummer Vinnie Paul will continue to write his advice column for Revolver magazine. In a statement posted in the magazine's May 2005 issue, Revolver editors write that there was a miscommunication between Vinnie and Revolver and that when SLIPKNOT drummer Joey Jordison (Vinnie's projected replacement) learned that Vinnie still wanted to work with Revolver, he stepped down so Vinnie could carry on with his advice column. Any questions concerning Dimebag or Nathan Gale will be thrown in the trash. The e-mail address to ask Vinnie for advice is AskVinnie@aol.com.

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Esquire: We Weren't Making Fun Of Dimebag's Death

Esquire magazine has issued a response to the criticism of its April 2005 issue in which writer Brian Frazer appeared to be poking fun at the murder of PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott. The last page of the magazine contained an article headlined "This Way Out" featuring a pyramid of "Recommended Daily of Vice." At the top was a section called "Use Sparingly" and in it was "Shooting ex-guitarists from PANTERA." A scan of the Esquire page in question can be found at this location.

In response to countless letters from Dimebag fans criticizing the article, Esquire has sent out the following form letter offering their explanation for the story:

"We're sorry you're offended by the 'This Way Out' page in the April issue of Esquire.

"We do want to point out, however, that the target of the offending joke was not Darrell Abbott. We feel nothing but sympathy for his friends, fans, and family. The target of the joke was the deranged man who shot him. His was a horrible and reprehensible act, as are many of the other 'vices' mentioned in the article."

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Vinnie Paul Jams Out With Black Label Society

DAMAGEPLAN/PANTERA drummer Vinnie Paul joined BLACK LABEL SOCIETY on stage for the song "Suicide Messiah" during their performance at the House of Blues in Orlando, Florida Sunday night (April 17). Paul had previously jammed with BLACK LABEL SOCIETY at the 2005 WAAF Indoor Beach Party on April 9 at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, MA.

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Dimebag's Murderer Dragged Off Stage Before

John Futty of The Columbus Dispatch has issued the following report:

Nathan Gale was dragged off the stage at a DAMAGEPLAN concert in Cincinnati eight months before killing the band's lead guitarist and three others at a concert in Columbus.

Yesterday (April 12), Columbus police confirmed that Gale caused a disturbance on stage at Bogart's nightclub on April 5, 2004.

According to reports filed by Cincinnati police, Gale damaged lighting equipment during a struggle with security while DAMAGEPLAN performed about 12:30 a.m.

Officers who responded to a 911 call filed a report labeling the offense as criminal damaging/endangering, but no charges were filed. The band didn't seek charges, police said.

The incident seemed of little significance until Dec. 8, when Gale stormed the stage at Alrosa Villa in Columbus and fatally shot DAMAGEPLAN guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott before turning his 9 mm semiautomatic handgun on those who tried to intervene. A fan, a club employee and the band's security chief were killed and three others wounded before a Columbus police officer ended the rampage by killing Gale with a shotgun blast. More...

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Esquire Mag 'Makes A Joke' Of Dimebag's Murder

A Blabbermouth.net visitor pointed out Esquire Magazine making fun of Dimebag's murder:

"I just bought the latest issue of Esquire, April 2005. The last page is an article 'This Way Out' by Brian Frazer. In it he makes a joke out of the murder of Dimebag. There is a pyramid of 'Recommended Daily of Vice.' On the top is a section 'Use Sparingly' and in it is 'Shooting ex-guitarists from PANTERA.' I think it is horrible for someone to make light of this tragic situation. We in the metal community should voice this. I sent an e-mail already and would hope everyone could do the same. There is not [an e-mail address] for the author, just esquire@hearst.com. I hope we can make our voices heard."

You can check out a scan of the Esquire page in question at this location.

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