8 12 2010

Six years ago Pantera guitarist and all-round rock icon Dimebag Darrell was murdered. No, he didn’t “pass away” in his sleep or fall victim to a fatal accident. Some fuckwit ex-marine went into a club in Columbus, Ohio where the musician’s then band Damageplan were playing and fired off 15 shots, killing five people (including Mr Abbott) and wounding seven others. There have been a lot of theories on Nathan Gale’s motives that night, but the long and short of it is-he was a fucking mentalist and ultimately you can’t reason with insanity.

I’ll always remember the day that I heard Dime was murdered. I’d just woken up with a killer hangover and was munching on a nice fry up to help soothe the headache from hell. We’d been out to see Therapy? in Dublin the night before and I’d possibly over-indulged a little too much at the boys’ aftershow in the Village. Scratch that. I was utterly wankered and when I woke up the next morning in the person I was seeing at the time’s flat in Dun Laoghaire, I wasn’t a happy bunny. So imagine my surprise when we flicked on Sky News and I saw the curly-haired Kiss-loving axe mangler’s photo on the screen accompanied by the whole sorry saga.

Now at that stage in my life I was 25 and to be honest I hadn’t checked back in on Pantera in a very long time. I was lucky enough to grow up with the likes of ‘Vulgar Display of Power’ when they first came out in the early 90s and I since moved on elsewhere in search of sonic salvation, but hearing this news brought me back to being 13 and listening to the likes of ‘Mouth for War,’ ‘A New Level’ and many more in my room and being utterly obsessed with their canny concotion of thrash metal and hardcore punk and I have to say I was gutted when I found out the events of that evening.

I made my way back up north later that night and the first thing I did when I got home was find my copy of ‘Cowboys From Hell’ and ‘Vulgar’ and stick them on my stereo. Sadly for me, I never got to see Pantera live. I had a ticket for their gig at the Point in Dublin, but after 9/11 the world freaked out and they cancelled the date, then went home and more or less broke up afterwards.

Some you win, some you lose I suppose. Anyway, as today is Dimebag’s anniversary, I thought I’d post up a couple of videos of the great man in action. R.I.P.