Photo Credit to Metal Archives
On this day 10 years ago (December 8th 2004), “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, the absolutely legendary guitarist for Pantera, died onstage. He was shot while playing for his other band, Damageplan, in Ohio by a 25-year-old ex-marine by the name of Nathan Gale. Gale also took the life of 3 other people, as well as injuring 7 others. The police investigation was closed in October of 2005, with no discernible motive being found. For anyone who knows Pantera, this isn’t news for you at all, but it needs to be remembered. It’s an event that shook the music world, and especially the metal world.
With that in mind, many artists have come forward to recount their experiences with Dimebag and Pantera. Loudwire did an absolutely amazing set of interviews with different artists, all with nice things to say and nice memories to share. The interviews feature a ton of people, Slash, Phil Anselmo, Max Calavera, Jonathan Davis, Rob Halford, Scott Ian, Sully Erna, Brand Dailor, as well as members of Rammstein, Black Veil Brides, Sixx A.M., Seether, and Hellyeah.
You can watch a montage of the interviews here:
And here’s a playlist of the full inteviews:
At the end of the montage, Phil Anselmo ends with some very powerful words. It was a great way to end the tribute to his life indeed. Anselmo, who is playing a show today (December 8th) with his band Down, will not do a tribute to Dimebag or Pantera. He told Yahoo! Music:
"There is no fucking way on this planet Earth that I am going to celebrate the death of one of my best friends and my guitar player in Pantera. I won't do any Pantera songs or anything like that. Like every night, I'll send out a song to Dimebag. I always send out the song 'Lifer' because if there was ever a lifer in heavy metal music — someone who lived it and breathed it and forged it every single day — it was him. He is the epitome of a lifer whether he is in the tomb or not."
He also talked about how he feels when the anniversary comes every year, saying:
"Every year gets harder. I look at what's out there in heavy metal and I think about what could have been. Really, it gets tougher every single fucking year. This is an evil time of year for me. It's rough, man. When you think of the madcap fucking way he was taken from us, I don't think any of us in the band can really come to fucking terms with it. The murder made no sense, the reasoning made no sense, and because it was done by a sick fucking person that had nothing to do with us except help seal the fate of the story and create this gigantic gulf of so many questions, it's just confounding and miserable."
It’s understandable. Every year, Anselmo has to be reminded of losing someone he was close to. Some fans just want closure on the situation, and to just have all the old members back together to remember his life, not celebrate his death. Dimebag’s longtime girlfriend Rita Haney even asked Anselmo and Vinnie Paul to settle their differences back in 2011, as they haven’t spoken since the band split up back in 2003. Unfortunately, it’s just not in the cards. Maybe as time goes on, it’ll be easier for Anselmo and Vinnie Paul will be able to fight the pain that Dimebag’s death brought them, and to see how much a proper remembrance means to fans.
I’ll end this with Phil Anselmo’s tribute from 2013, as it remains the most powerful of all:
R.I.P. Dimebag \m/