As I write this, I am home from work, quite sick and doped up on cold medicine. Even with these factors, the idiocy of one isolated event shines through to me.
On Wednesday, December 8th, ex-Pantera/Damageplan guitarist “Dimebag” Darrel Abbott was killed as Damageplan began the first song of their set during a gig in Ohio. The gunman walked onstage, grabbed Dimebag in a headlock and shot him four to six times in the head at point-blank range. The gunman then started firing into the crowd, killing three more before a police officer shot him in the face (poetic justice).
Now, I was never a huge fan of Pantera or Damageplan. Pantera was good, and I at one time owned a couple of CDs, but those were sold off to help pay my car insurance at one time, but the band was not always my taste. Granted they were a HIGHLY influential band, just not my thing a lot of times. What I had heard from Damageplan didn’t get me going. Throughout all those recordings, however, one thing stood out. Dimebag could flat out play guitar. He was frequently among the top three guitarists ever in countless fan and magazine polls, and with good reason. Listen to the riffs in “Cowboys From Hell” or the lead in “Cemetery Gates” and try to deny that the man had talent. It can’t be done.
In this modern era, it seems like our musical icons are falling at an ever-increasing rate. Three-quarters of the original Ramones are gone, Johnny Cash has left the planet (granted he was old), and now this. Dimebag’s death is the most senseless of all due to the fact that it was plain, calculated, cold-blooded murder. Even more ominous, December 8th is the same date that John Lennon was killed. I no longer believe in coincidence and that everything happens as part of God’s plan, but this was one fragment of the plan that the world could do without.
R.I.P. – Darrel Lance Abbott a.k.a. “Dimebag Darrel”