December 8th is a day of infamy in Rock N’ Roll. On this date in 1980 Mark David Chapman murdered John Lennon outside of his hotel in New York City. Twenty-four years later, on the same date, Former Pantera and Damageplan guitarist Dimebag Darrell was murdered onstage during a performance in Columbus, Ohio.
Born Darrell Lance Abbott, Dimebag, was a founding member of the heavy metal band Pantera with his brother drummer Vinnie Paul and bassist Rex Brown. Dimebag’s guitar was essential to the groove metal sound pioneered by Pantera.
Although they were not MTV favorites, Pantera’s albums frequently debuted at the top of the charts with Far Beyond Driven debuting at number one. Pantera was nominated four times for “Best Metal Perfomance” at the Grammy Awards and was dubbed the greatest metal band of the nineties by allmusic.com.
Unfortunately, internal tensions with vocalist Phil Anselmo led to the band’s break up but that did not stop Dimebag, who in addition to forming Damageplan with Vinnie Paul, would collaborate with a diverse range of artists from Anthrax to David Allen Coe.
Dimebag’s death sent shock waves throughout the hard rock community. Several bands have released tributes. Seether’s Pat Callahan says guitarists leave open an empty guitar case open in tribute to the fallen guitarist. Vinnie Paul recently released a book and DVD called He Came to Rock about his brother.
So raise a shot of Black Tooth Grin in memory of one the greatest modern guitarists. And if you have not had the opportunity to listen to Dimebag’s masterworks check out these clips below.
Walk- One of Pantera’s most famous songs.
The Sleep- One of Dime’s best solos from a highly underrated song.
Hole in the Sky- An awesome Sabbath cover.