Tomorrow (Thursday, December 8) marks the seven-year anniversary of the death of PANTERA and DAMAGEPLAN guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott. Abbott, one of the most beloved and respected musicians in hard rock, was shot onstage during a DAMAGEPLAN concert at the Alrosa Villa club in Columbus, Ohio by a 25-year-old ex-Marine named Nathan Gale. Gale murdered a total of four people and wounded three others before being killed himself by police officer James D. Niggemeyer, who arrived on the scene minutes after Galebegan his rampage.
ANTHRAX bassist Frank Bello spoke to Revolver magazine his time with Dimebag, who contributed solos to the band’s “Stomp 442”, “Volume 8” and “We’ve Come For You All” albums. ANTHRAX‘s latest CD, “Worship Music”, contains the song “In The End”, which pays tribute to Dime and Ronnie James Dio.
“We were so close to him,” Bello said. “He was one of us. Dimebag was the sixth member of ANTHRAX, because he played on the last few records. I thought paying tribute to him in song was a great idea.
“I lost a brother 13 years ago. He was murdered. And then to have Dimebag go in such a bad, traumatic way — he’s one of our brothers. Dimebag was like a brother to me.
“We had a lot of good times. That ANTHRAX–PANTERA tour [in 1997], that was a scary tour. The shows were great. But on that tour, I brought a parasite home with me from Mexico in my stomach. So I couldn’t hold anything in my stomach including liquor. Now imagine being on a PANTERA tour without drinking liquor. At one point, it was so bad because everything I put in my body, it was like a funnel — it came right out of my body. So I would have to run from these guys and hide. Because Dime‘s chasing me with this Black Tooth [Grin, Dime‘s signature drink, which was a shot of Crown Royal or Seagrams 7 with a splash of Coke]. He’d be yelling, ‘Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!’ So I’m shooting this thing with a beer right after it.
“Dude, I swear to God, as soon as it went in my system, I was right on the bowl. So I laugh at that now, because I remember Dime laughing at me. As soon as I shot the Black Tooth, he’d go, ‘You’ve gotta go now, right?’ And he’d laugh. It was a great time. Of course it was painful for me, but it was a great thing for Dimebag. Those are the things you remember. It’s a time in your life I’ll never forget. I love them and I miss them. Only the good die young.”