Dimebag Darrell Abbott lost his life on stage 10 years ago to this date in a small rock club in Ohio called the Alrosa Villa. Abbott and his band Damageplan had taken to the stage just like any other night. A troubled local man, Nathan Gale breached backstage security and took to the stage as the band began their set. Abbott as well as the band had their backs to Gale as he approached the guitarist brandishing a gun. Gale fired several rounds into Abbott and shot into the crowd as fans, members of the band and security tried to approach the stage. Abbott's brother as well as Damageplan bandmate Vinny Paul was witness to everything. The events of that night ten years ago would be engrained in concert goers and promoters for years to come.
There would be t-shirts and tribute signature guitars created in his honor. There would be countless interviews and remembrances posted to the web and the media about the legacy of Dimebag. Just like the death of JFK and John Lennon(who's death occurred on the same date 20 years earlier), the first word of his passing would become a mental bookmark in many fans lives.
This is my bookmark.
A call rang throughout my old apartment in Springfield, Ma on the morning of December 9th, 2004. My old friend and fellow concert going buddy's voice was tinged with dread of bad news when he asked if I had seen the news. I was sitting at my old desktop waiting for the monitor screen to paint up the web as I had my phone pressed to my ear. Although it's been ten years I will always recall the moment he told me he was gone. Dime was shot. Killed. Gone. My heart and head were in denial.
My thoughts raced to the headlines in the magazines over the past year that I had collected. The breakup of Pantera and the mud that was slung amongst the band members were fresh. My wishes as a fan for the band to reform were dashed when I heard about Damageplan's formation and the lack of interest by Pantera's frontman Phil Anselmo to even speak with the brothers Abbott. I was hoping all of this was just a big mistake. Perhaps it was another band or that the events were not as bad as reported. Sadly when the web finally filled my monitor screen, the nightmare of that night was official. The web was already full of news and misreporting just mere hours after Abbott's death was officially reported. Barely enough time for his friends to absorb the news or his loss. First hand reports of what concertgoers saw and heard were absolutely surreal. Days and weeks would follow with more first hand reports and even video within the club. VH1 would produce a "Behind the Music" special about that night and the turmoil of the band members of Pantera. That show left me and a lot of fans in tears as it presented a video from inside the club that was shot as the events unfolded.
Today marks ten years.