Today (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.
When asked by Revolver magazine where he was when he heard Dimebag had died, JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford said, “I was in my house in Phoenix. I think somebody texted me or somebody called me, and my legs went from underneath me. I just hit the deck. This can’t be real. I put the TV on, and it was actually on CNN. I just sat there in disbelief. And then I balled like a baby, like you should do. I just cried my eyes out. And you just don’t know what to do. You’re full of confusion, you’re full of anger, you want to fucking smash things to pieces. You want to play the music; you want to call Phil [Anselmo, ex-PANTERA singer]. All of these things are going on in your head. And obviously, Pat [Lachman, former HALFORD guitarist] was singing for DAMAGEPLAN at the time. I wanted to call Pat. Do you call, do you not call? What the fuck’s going on? Just a bazillion things are going around your head at the same time. But it was just terrible. It’s just seems inconceivable. I don’t think, now, that’s never happened to anybody else, has it? I mean, we lost people through self-induced things, like booze and drugs. We’ve lost people like Ronnie [James Dio] with the kinds of illnesses. But to be fucking brutally murdered is just insane. Absolutely insane. John Lennon is the only other person, isn’t it? They’re both in good company, as far as what they mean and how they’ve lived on in our lives. How Dimebag will always live on. That’s the only bit of solace you’ve got. It’s that the work that they made will live forever. That’s the blessing.”
Halford also spoke about his collaboration with PANTERA on the song “Light Comes Out of Black” for the “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” soundtrack. “I was away from PRIEST,” the singer said about how the song came about. “Sony were working on the soundtrack. They wanted Sony artists and asked me to write a song. I hadn’t written as a solo writer for years and years and years. But it’s one of those things where you don’t know what you can do until you put your nose to the grindstone. So I wrote ‘Light Comes Out Of Black’, and I was stuck. And I got Dime‘s number, and I called him up and I said, ‘Here’s the deal.’ And he goes, ‘Let’s do it. Just get in the plane and come down to Dallas.’ So that’s what I did the next day, went to the studio, laid the track down in a very short space of time. Phil wandered by, said, ‘Oh, how’s it going, ‘metal god?’ So I told him and he said, ‘You got a spot for me?’ I said, ‘Pfft, here’s the mic.’ So Phil joins me on the back end of the song. And it turned out really good. It’s amazing to think that that’s a PANTERA song really. It is PANTERA with me on lead vocals, and Phil obviously doing the outro sections. But it’s a PANTERA song, really.”
Read more from Revolver magazine.