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

OpEd

Remembering Dimebag Darrell Abbott on the Sixth Anniversary of His Death

Photo of Damageplan

Band Photo: Damageplan (?)

Dimebag Darrell would have celebrated his 44th birthday this past August, no doubt surrounded by friends and family, the love of his life Rita Haney, and his big brother Vinnie.

Black tooth grins would have been downed, and more than a few fireworks probably would have been shot up into the sky and at unsuspecting revelers. It would have been a true celebration of life, because, as the man himself often said, that’s the kind of fun Dime had. But six years ago to the day that lifelong celebration, along with the lives of four other members of the global metal family, was cut tragically short. By now we all know the story, there’s no sense in reliving the grisly details. Dime wouldn’t want us to dwell on the way he died; he would want us to focus on the way he lived.

To a person, everyone who came into contact with Dimebag Darrell as he made his way around the world several times over playing the music he loved was made to feel like an equal, like a friend. With Dime, there were no walls between the fans and the musicians, between crew and band. There was only kinship and a common love of music and having the best time humanly possible. Even those of us who never met the man felt like we knew him from watching the Pantera home videos and seeing him exude one hundred percent uninhibited enthusiasm on stage each and every night and completely unfiltered, boyish joy off stage when he partied with his brothers by blood and by metal, the hardest drinking band in the business, Pantera.

As we once again mark the passing of the man born Darrell Lance Abbott, we perhaps have more reason for hope this year than in years past, as two of those who were closest to him, his longtime girlfriend Rita Haney and his front man and friend Phil Anselmo, appear to have let the wounds inflicted by the acrimonious split of Pantera and certain comments made by Anselmo, taken out of context in the metal press and circulated with tabloid sensationalism, heal this year. Though the rift between Anselmo and Dime’s surviving brother Vinnie remains wide, we can be sure that Dime would enjoy seeing those who loved him most reunited in the spirit of his generous nature. In fact, it was only illness that prevented Anselmo from performing at Dimebash 2010, an all star tribute to the fallen guitar hero. In Rita’s forgiveness and Phil’s unwavering attempts at reconciliation, the gregarious and loving persona of Dime lives on.

2010 also marks the 20th anniversary of one of Dimebag’s signature performances, his work on the seminal “Cowboys from Hell” album. Though this was actually Pantera’s fifth record, it is regarded by fans as their official debut, and it was at this time that Dime’s untouchable sound, tone, and monumental southern fried wah pedal squeal were introduced to the world at large. His explosive and towering riffs were an extension of his larger-than-life personality, and there is no doubt that his fans will continue to remember him through immortal songs such as the album’s title track, the tune that would become the calling card of Pantera and the Pantera faithful alike, the soulful and mournful “Cemetery Gates,” and the almost tribal and unrepentantly heavy “Primal Concrete Sledge,” which amazingly was thrown together by Dime and his brother at the last minute during the “Cowboys” recording sessions when Dime heard Vinnie jamming on the intro drum beat in the studio, threw his guitar over his shoulder, and pounded out what would become one of Pantera’s concert staples on the spot.

Such was the level of heart behind Dime’s leads that Pantera fans from all corners of the globe can still hum his solos from these two-decade old tracks from memory. He was more than just a musician, but it’s as clear as a shot of Texas moonshine that music flowed from his fingertips and oozed from his pores like the cold sweat of a whisky hangover. So shed not a tear for Dimebag this year, but raise a glass and remind yourself of how he lived and what he stood for. As his friend and brother Phil Anselmo has often said, there will never be another like him. R.I.P. Dimebag Darrell Abbott. In the collective memories of the word’s metal family, you will always be that uncontainable force of nature that set the world on fire with the same unmatchable passion and drive that endeared you to millions who thought of you not as some distant and unreachable guitar god, but as a friend and brother in arms, even if we never had the pleasure of meeting you in person. Getcha’ pull!

Joe Reviled's avatar

Joe Henley is a freelance music journalist and editor currently living in Taipei, Taiwan. In addition to pulling vocal duty in a death metal band, he maintains a website on the Taiwanese metal scene and writes regular features on the touring bands that come through Taipei for a local monthly music magazine.

What's Next?

Please share this article if you found it interesting.

You can get related band news and info in the sidebar and on the respective band pages.


60 Comments on "Remembering Dimebag Darrell"

Post your comments and discuss the article below! (no login required)

goatlady's avatar

Writer

1. goatlady writes:

RIP Dime.

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 12:53 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
The_Avant_Garde's avatar

Writer

2. The_Avant_Garde writes:

I was honestly never a Pantera or Dime fan, but I also cannot deny his influence on a large handful of bands that I do love and for that fact I cannot thank him enough.

It is without a doubt he will never be forgotten!

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 12:58 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
3. Doane Quick writes:

Darrell was the best!! I met him in San Diego 1994 when I was in the service and back home in Detroit 1996 !!! Wile in Detroit, He said he remembered me and thanked me for my military service and making it home safe!! He gave me a beer BOTH times!!! The most down to earth rock star , An awesome human being, and I miss him every day... I salute you Darrell Lance Abbott, a shot of whisky to you my friend... We will join you in good time!!

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 1:35 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
silvermountains's avatar

Member

4. silvermountains writes:

Pantera first and for most is my favorite band. Although, I never got the chance to see them live, or meet Dime Pantera's music is just as metal as you can get. Vinnie Paul is a great guy, I met him though through HELLYEAH he still talked to me about Dime and Pantera. Once I turn 18 I'm planning to get CFH tattooed on me, and I will never forget the loss of Dime. This article was written for everyone and I hope that December 8th will be a day for remembering Dime's Life not his Death. RIP Brother Dime, We Love, Miss, and will never forget you.

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 1:52 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
5. Mtlnrs writes:

Great article in honour of a Great Fallen Hero...RIP Dime, Got My Whiskey 'n' Weed!

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 2:20 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
6. albert writes:

This article was very well written.RIP Dime!

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 2:38 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

7. hellrat writes:

hey thanks Joe R.... it is very important for folks to be reminded and have focus drawn to dime's extraordinary talent and his everlasting contribution of musical genius to METAL

his untimely and devastating death was, and remains, a tragedy in the truest sense....we can only be grateful to have lived in a time where many of us were fortunate enough to have seen his magic live, and all of us will always have his recordings and our memories of him to sustain us and his positive and profound influence on this continually evolving METAL movement that we are all so lovingly empassioned by...

Rock in Peace and Glory Brother

Long live the Diamond

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 4:04 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

8. hellrat writes:

NP---The Sleep...CFH

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 4:06 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
tallica_fan's avatar

Member

9. tallica_fan writes:

RIP to a legend of metal, I dont go a day without listening to pantera its sheer awesome just never wears out. NP The Underground in America

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 4:11 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Cryonics's avatar

Member

10. Cryonics writes:

Excellent article!

If it wasn't for him, I never would've picked up the guitar. I bought my first guitar on his birthday in 06', and to this day, I'm still executing the art of shredding!

Thanks for the inspiration brother! We love you man!

Riff In Peace Dime!

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 4:52 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
11. the dust writes:

You will be with us forever.
R.I.P bro!

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 5:22 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
12. BlackTooth81 writes:

Dime you will be forever missed. Your enthusiasm and genius fueled hordes of musicians and metal heads alike to this day. Much love brother I could never thank you enough for your tunes. I'll crank up some Trendkill tonight.

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 6:21 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
FullMetalSlug's avatar

Member

13. FullMetalSlug writes:

Til the day we meet again RIP brother

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 8:11 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
14. Replica1979 writes:

RIP Dime......

You will always be missed.

I will definetly be blasting Pantera CD's to the maximum volume today.Hell Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 8:55 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
KORNDOGG's avatar

Member

15. KORNDOGG writes:

RIP

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 8:56 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
BrianMN's avatar

Member

16. BrianMN writes:

I was lucky enough to see Pantera when they toured with White Zombie.
Killer show, Dime was squealing all over the place, it was crazy!

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 9:14 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
17. lotus writes:

glasses up to DIMEBAG DARRELL, will always remember your kindred spirit.

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 9:33 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
deathbringer's avatar

Founder, owner & programmer

18. deathbringer writes:

Excellent job Joe. It was a good read. As I start to watch the first video, I got quesy in my stomach and a feeling of sadness set in. R.I.P. Dime.

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 9:34 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
19. PuckettJp2 writes:

RIP Dimebag, not to mention John Lennon

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 9:46 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
brandedcfh420's avatar

Member

20. brandedcfh420 writes:

I was lucky enough to see them 7 times through their existence. I, like BRIANMN, saw them when they toured with White Zombie in 1996 in Houston TX. I never saw 1 bad PANTERA show. Every show was different, and set lists changed, minus the mandatory songs.

At 4:20 pm EST today, I will be smoking a fat burrito in his memory. I invite all to join me where ever you are in the world, in remembering one of the greatest guitarists, and kindest humans ever. He gave 1000% every night and made everyone he met feel as if they were family.

R.I.P. BROTHER DIME. YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN AND YOU WILL BE FOREVER MISSED!!

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 9:51 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
21. Kim writes:

It takes a great man to inspire you from so far beyond the grave. Today is all about Darrell and all of the greatness that he achieved.

We're with you in spirit, man!

See you at the gates!

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 10:09 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
EdgeoftheWorld's avatar

Senior Reviewer

22. EdgeoftheWorld writes:

Because Dime appreciated smiling faces in the crowd, I'll share my favorite (pretty tame) Dimebag Darrell story here, as related to me by my friend Nick.

Nick, who can always be counted on to battle his way to the front of whatever pit he's in, was at a show in Sacramento (if I recall correctly) when a fan threw a giant green foam cowboy hat on stage. Without missing a beat, Dime reached down, grabbed the hat and put it on, much to the delight of the crowd. And, apparently, he spent much of the rest of the show banging his head furiously in this giant green monstrosity, for one of the funniest things Nick had seen in a great while.

So often, we take our music, with its images often of violence and death, so incredibly seriously. The lesson Dime taught us is that even if the music is sad or aggressive, there's great joy and laughter to be had playing it as well.

RIP

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 10:15 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
metal-man's avatar

Member

23. metal-man writes:

r.i.p. dime may you live on in your music .

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 11:11 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
24. THRASH TILL DEATH writes:

Pantera wouldnt have been with out him. RIP and happy bday dime

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 11:50 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
25. Jimmy J. writes:

Pantera was my favorite band ever. Listening to DimeBag was the reason i picked up a guitar in the first place.I still listen to Pantera and enjoy the great music Dime gave us. I hope that someday Phil and Vinnie can heal those old wounds and hopefully someday rock together again.

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 1:15 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
26. ANONYMOUS writes:

RIP DIMEBAG.

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 1:20 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
27. Jimmy J. writes:

Oh yeah Branded at 4:20 let's fire one up and maybe even do a black tooth grin.Dime you are missed dearly. RIP Bro.

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 1:27 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
MetalMattUK's avatar

Member

28. MetalMattUK writes:

I will never forget the day it happened so sad got into Pantera 3 years before Dimes tragic death just such a waste, to this day i still listen to Pantera albums never will get tired off them where ever you are Dime hope you still watching over us you will never be forgotten
R.I.P Metal Brother

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 2:12 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
29. Moshermike writes:

Seems like yesterday that I saw you at the Agora Ballroom (or was it Cardys) playing cover tunes. You formed my youth in the 80's and I grew with you all the way to Damageplan. You were a hero to many of us in big D. You will always be missed.

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 3:05 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
30. Metalheadx101x writes:

I'll always remember my first concert with Pantera, RIP Dime, you were one hell of a shredder.

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 3:08 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
31. CAM666 writes:

WE WILL NEVER FORGET YOU DIMEBAG R.I.P.

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 3:11 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Tivic's avatar

Member

32. Tivic writes:

R.I.P. Dimebag Darrell. Your killer Nathan Gale is getting pineapples rammed up his a$$ in a Frenchmaide uniform by the demons right now.

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 3:41 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
33. krazykorb writes:

Well written article on one of the greatest and most influential guitarists of all time... RIP Dime.

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 3:48 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
darkA.T.M's avatar

Member

34. darkA.T.M writes:

you will always be remembered \m/\m/

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 5:03 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Metalfist's avatar

Member

35. Metalfist writes:

Today, we blast Pantera anthems to remember our legend Dimebag. All we can say to Dime is "R.I.P metal brother", and to his killer, we say "F**K YOU MOTHERF***ER"

Once again "R.I.P Dime brother".
You will be missed forever, but your spirit will live on.
HORNS UP!

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 5:50 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
METAL213's avatar

Member

36. METAL213 writes:

Greatest band and guitarist to ever walk the face of the earth. Not a day goes by that I don't think about Dime. I miss him more than anything. Music just isn't the same without him. But he has left an incredible legacy behind him and will always be remembered and treasured. R.I.P. Dimebag GETCHA PULL!

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 6:18 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
METAL213's avatar

Member

37. METAL213 writes:

#32, excellent Little Nicky reference lmao

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 6:27 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
38. rste writes:

Again I am baffled by this mans influence over people. Seriously guys he was a mediocre guitarist at best, i dont understand why everyone jizzes themselves over him. If he hadnt died no body would give two sh**s about him.

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 8:21 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
39. Canaduh writes:

RIP Dimebag, have a few beers with Mr. Lennon.

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 8:31 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
deathbringer's avatar

Founder, owner & programmer

40. deathbringer writes:

Wel rste, Pantera was a hugely popular band before he died, so I think that says something, so your logic that "no body would give two sh**s about him" doesn't really hold up.

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 8:53 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
41. Kasun writes:

R.I.P Dime!!!

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 10:21 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
KickAssDuke's avatar

Member

42. KickAssDuke writes:

One word for every Pantera fan out there....LOUD!!! Play that sh** loud as it will go.

"These go to 11"

NP - Pantera - WALK

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 10:50 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
43. Jimmy J. writes:

Well rste I gave a hell of a lot more than two sh**s about Dime. I think a lot of people would back me up on this. RIP DIME YOU ARE MISSED OUR METAL BROTHER.

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 11:18 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
44. rste writes:

Sorry that came off as a bit crass, but really what i was trying to say was that (as man other dead musicans) "He's dead. He was the best." kind of thing about him.

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 11:22 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

45. hellrat writes:

now listen here ya goddamn jackwagon^

there is none of that posthumous attribution of superlativity you're claiming going on here....Dime was loved and respected by his fellow axe men and the countless legions that are fans of his music when he was alive, and would indeed be so today if he still graced this good earth

you come off as a pseudo metal/guitar fvcking geek, who seems to presume that anyone of us true headbangers actually gives two fvcking sh!ts about YOU and your empty, punk a$$ perspective

ya best just keep it shut, fool

# Dec 9, 2010 @ 12:35 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
46. FreddyB_808 writes:

Wow, awesome write up Joe. I read 6 articles about Dimebag Darrell's tragic death today and this one is by far the best. The guy took the guitar to a new metal edge which had never been heard before. Sabbath (Iomi) did it in the 70's, Pantera (Darrell) owned it in the 90's. Glad someone payed appropriate homage to the man behind one of the most original, great metal bands. Thanks for the article, Joe!!!

# Dec 9, 2010 @ 12:53 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
47. luke writes:

rste, i dont know where youve been dude, i grew up with pantera since 1995, even back then, his influence was felt dude, give or take, you have the right for your own opinion, when he died, his influence was felt even stronger... I remember even back then, everyone thought he was just a gentle, friendly, and super talented person, his death just caused his influence to be felt even brighter..... he was a super super nice guy, he had nothing negative to say about anything, so positive.. his death caused me to realize that he didnt deserve that, not as a musician, but as a person., his personality was a bigger influence on me, then his guitar playing, because he was just really down to earth, and very friendly..not many people are like that, these days.

# Dec 9, 2010 @ 1:44 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
TheIronMan's avatar

Member

48. TheIronMan writes:

We are supposed to be celebrating his life. That means we shouldn't be hating his killer, or b****ing about whether he was good or not.

The fact is, he was a great human being who was wrongly taken from this Earth.

That's it.

RIP Dime.

# Dec 9, 2010 @ 5:57 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
n0thinghead's avatar

Podcaster/Writer

49. n0thinghead writes:

i bet Dime's rocking out with jesus in metal heaven. that's right, jesus is a metalhead. he didn't allow john lennon in kuz, let's just say, he holds a grudge.

rest in peace 2 masters of their craft, Dimebag Darrell and John Lennon.

# Dec 9, 2010 @ 9:06 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
sonictherapy's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

50. sonictherapy writes:

One time I went to interview Pantera for a radio station back in the eighties and was in their tour bus. I sat down with Darrell and Vinny and was taken with how very nice, intelligent and articulate both of them were. Anselmo wasn't really in that league. As for Rex Rockhead, he was so stoned he was filming the deli tray with a camcorder.

# Dec 9, 2010 @ 9:36 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Trendkill91's avatar

Member

51. Trendkill91 writes:

RIP Dimebag Darrell.
Will never go a day without thinking how unfair it was for him to pass. Love and respect everything he done as a musician and as a human being.
The greatest guitatist of this generation in my eyes.

# Dec 9, 2010 @ 6:26 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
OlafBerzerker's avatar

Member

52. OlafBerzerker writes:

when i was a little metal head back in 92-93 my best bud had a brilliant idea to take his parents car out for a spin and get some grubb at an afterhours diner... on the way back home we had CFH playing real loud , my bud who at this time hadnt really ever drivin before took a corner 2 sharp and lost control and rolled into the ditch....... We both emerged a little bloody but ok nonetheless. through all this i remember the stereo was still going strong blasting CFH out of the twisted mass that used to be a car. \m/

# Dec 9, 2010 @ 7:32 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

53. hellrat writes:

Berserkr, that story kicks so much fvcking a$$ it just made my whole fvcking day!!!

fvcking brilliant!!

\m/

# Dec 10, 2010 @ 10:15 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Jomama's avatar

Supporter

54. Jomama writes:

I've been to many shows, but my all time best show was when Pantera opened up for Black Sabbath in Pittsburgh in 97 when Black Sabbath reunited with Ozzy. I will never forget that show or the music that Dimebag (and Pantera) brought to my world. It empowered me and it always will. RIP Dimebag. You are a true legend.

# Dec 10, 2010 @ 4:09 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
OlafBerzerker's avatar

Member

55. OlafBerzerker writes:

Thanks HR, It was a big turning point for us as my buds father made him CUT his hair and get a real job to pay off the car...... the following year i also chopped off the lid and we went with the chin beards Phil styles \m/

# Dec 11, 2010 @ 11:32 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
wilco's avatar

Member

56. wilco writes:

good story
he will still be missed rip dimebag

# Dec 12, 2010 @ 10:48 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
charest's avatar

Supporter

57. charest writes:

Getcha Pull God Damn It!

# Dec 12, 2010 @ 11:00 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
\m/codester\m/'s avatar

Member

58. \m/codester\m/ writes:

may this great man rest in peace!! \m/

# Dec 16, 2010 @ 6:04 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
59. The New MJ writes:

Dimebag was a fantastic guitar player, i just never like phil's vocals

# Dec 23, 2010 @ 4:11 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Valentine_no_more's avatar

Supporter

60. Valentine_no_more writes:

I'd rather be remembered more of my birthday then my deathday

# Dec 24, 2010 @ 3:45 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

To minimize comment spam/abuse, you cannot post comments on articles over a month old. Please check the sidebar to the right or the related band pages for recent related news articles.