Metal’s Darkest Day: “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, A Decade Gone (2004-2014)

Has it really been ten years? Well I guess it has and yet I still find it troubling to write down but the great “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott has been gone for ten years as of this very day. The Metal world at large all know the story about how the master guitarist was gunned down during a show with his band Damageplan by a crazed gunman. This terrible night also claimed the lives of three others and injuring several others.

Photo - Dimebag Darrell

Thinking back, I remember how the news came to me early the following morning after it had happened. I was waking up to go to work and as the radio played my constantly set 1010 WINS, I heard the words “gunman”, “Metal concert”, “Dimebag Darrell”; As I said I was just only waking up but it was like a bolt that I was out of the bed and hoping for the newscaster to repeat the story to get properly informed. I booted up the computer and launched into my email account as I was the NYC Scene Journalist for The Metal Circus site in Spain at the time (PiercingMetal.com was not yet launched and still only an idea I had been toying with for a couple of weeks). The time was only a little after 6AM and I was not seeing the story on any of the popular Metal Newsfeed sites of the day yet but as my email queue began to fill with questions from my Spanish amigos to get more information on this horrible story they were starting to hear about, the reporter came back on and repeated the news. “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott was shot during the bands concert and had died. I was numb because it just didn’t make sense to me at all. Why would this happen? How could this happen? Such a thing seemed impossible to happen at a Metal show. I admit that it was very hard to go to work that day but since I was “the Metal guy” on the team, it became a quick topic of discussion and it was clearly sending shock waves across the world’s Metal fan base as all tried to come to grips with it and make some kind of sense out of the news. There was no sense to be made from this. Dime was taken from us by a very ill and delusional man and there was nothing else to be said about the matter. Dime was dead. It sucked and Metal would never quite be the same again.

The photos below were snagged when I visited the Hard Rock Cafe in Atlantic City a few years ago. I was actually on a mission to seek out KISS things but when I saw that they had one of Dimebag’s guitars I paused for a moment of respect to the man, his music and his influence and then snapped the shots. I was unsure where or if I was ever going to use them and on this terrible tenth anniversary it seems appropriate to share them with you all.

dimebag darrell abbott, hard rock cafe atlantic city,

dimebag darrell abbott, hard rock cafe atlantic city,

As a drummer, my own being influenced by Dime is not the same as it would be for someone that plays guitar but I sure did admire his style, sense of humor and the way he was trying to keep pushing his own Metal efforts to the maximum level. I never managed to see Pantera in the live sense but had been listening to them since I first heard “Cowboys From Hell” blasting out of my speakers thanks to WSOU Pirate Radio in NJ. Their Metal network was the means that I first heard it all and it sent me to the CD Store to grab a copy. It was a great album for sure and Dime shined across the whole thing. Metal music has come a long way since we lost Dime and part of me likes to think that all of the hard work and industrious nature of those who excel at the craft are making him smile in the great whatever waits for us after this.

As I close up this sad anniversary posting I am wondering if you readers recall how you first heard of Dime’s death and I realize that this is depending on your various ages. The comments are open for you to share your own thoughts and reflections about Dimebag or to let the readership know what he meant to you as a figure for Metal. Let’s discuss and before I forget let me finalize by saying “We Still Miss You Dime, There Was No One Quite Like Ya”.

2 thoughts on “Metal’s Darkest Day: “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, A Decade Gone (2004-2014)”

  1. I still remember, this awful day, as I was working at my old internship. It shook to me the very core. Pantera’s music was so important to me growing it up as it helped me through some very hard times. And, Dimebad was a hero to me. I was so deeply saddened by it that I wrote a letter to Revolver, one that got published in the mag.
    He will never be forgotten. Let’s raise a toast to him and listen to Pantera (which, I am doing right now!)!

  2. I still remember seeing the news report on TV in Las Vegas. I was in shock.

    I skipped their show at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ on Dec 4th because I had an early morning flight the next day. I thought to myself, “I’ll catch them the next time they come around.” It was such a sad lesson for me. Never say “next time” enjoy things in the present moment.

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