Yesterday (Thursday, December 8) marked 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.
Bassist Rex Brown — Dimebag‘s bandmate in PANTERA, who has also played in DOWN and KILL DEVIL HILL — tells Revolver magazine, “I miss Dime every day that fuckin’ goes by. Dime was driven from the time he picked up that guitar. I was around when Darrell couldn’t play a barre chord. Then he discovered Ozzy‘s first two records and he started practicing 11 hours a day. And he just came out to be this protégé.
“It never ceased to amaze me what he was capable of. He always had something in his mind going on musically, and if it wasn’t that, it was a prank to entertain himself because he was always entertaining to people.
“He was the best man at my wedding and he was the warmest cat I’ve ever seen to people that he didn’t know. At the same time, I think Dime really needed to take a little break and have a little seclusion from himself and all the craziness. And he would take those times and sober up and get his stuff together and then write all these amazing riffs while he was taking a shit.
“I think about him all the time. I’ll come up with something and go, ‘Man, what would he think of this?’ And I’ll never be able to get an answer. But I’m still close to Rita [Haney, Dime‘s longtime girlfriend]. I was on the phone with her for two hours a few days ago and it always brings a smile to my face when I can talk to her, and she still has the same ideology that Dime had.
“You know, I can’t believe it’s been this long since he’s been gone and I miss my brother.”