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Dimebag Classics

We end our special Dimebag week with a look at classic releases from the past featuring the guitar legend plus tributes. 

Pantera - Vulgar Display of Power
By JoFo

1992 was a year of decline, upheaval, & nefarious scheming in the world of metal. Metallica was just moving into the ritzy new neighborhood they'd downgraded to, on Sell Out Lane, having come under the Svengali- like influence of Spam Jovi/ Motley Crue producer Bob Rock & his whispered enticements that included bigger & better swimming pools & the fun of amassing extensive art collections & going antiquing on weekends. Anthrax was making not only hit singles (weird!) but even worse, they seemed to have turned a corner & discovered the joys of playing music that was upbeat & happy. Their ominous inroads into the rap community threatened to invent nu-metal 10 years ahead of time. Venom had begun their descent into cranking out one greatest hits compilation after another, if I continue in this vein I might weep or overdose on pills- suffice it to say it was a mighty depressing landscape that a reinvented Pantera thrust themselves into, hopefully alienating their fan base who'd known them as a them as a hair metal band in the process with Vulgar Display of Power, arguably one of the most important metal releases of all time.

VDP was an album that had no bad songs on it, no lame 'record company made me do it' filler, no fawning, pandering musical puke designed to straddle the many developing genres in an attempt to cash in while figuring out what the next hot trend to align themselves to might be. In the place of those sensible business goals seethed a crushing power, bringing new life & freshness to a scene that many had been prematurely planning a funeral for. What a rare treat to be given all this in one release & Dimebag too, a guitar hero for a generation that didn't have many under the age of 40.

Even today after all these years, VDP doesn't sound dated, or like part of a batch of bands that played in a certain style 'way back then'. The timelessness of this album attests to its rightful placement on every list of the top albums ever released, even on the laughably naive lists released by the clueless MTV & its bumbling affiliates. In 15 more years, this CD will sound just as good, relevant & excellent as it does right now & did when it first came out. This is now, was then & always will be a five star release, one to play for your grandkids & carry with you to the proverbial desert island. If you already own it, you already know that & still listen to it today. If you don't, then go out & buy it, sheesh, wassamatta wit' you?!

Preview and Purchase This CD Online


Pantera - 3 Vulgar Videos from Hell DVD Review
by JoFo
I tell ya, the perks of this job are many & awesome. Getting to review a DVD that needs no review is one such example. I honestly don't know why the Pantera people sent this out for review, (but thank you!!!) it's the complete collection of Pantera videos plus lots more. Buy it! Though a review of this seems superfluous & wholly unnecessary, here is a short one, in case you really are undecided or totally clueless.

What an excellent 2 disc DVD this is, not surprisingly. Interspersing all their videos with footage from the band's personal collection was a fun way to present the material, offering both a fresh look to old fans as well as a great introduction for people who first heard of them after the Dimebag tragedy last year.

I thought this DVD was going to be hard to watch, and filled with pain & grief. I was prepared for something heart wrenching, which would force me to relive & think all over again about metal's 9/11. Rather, I was treated to Pantera's entire catalog of videos and some of the goofiest, funniest behind the scenes footage of a buncha young, fun kids having the time of their lives in a great band that will never be reunited. Watching it with that mindset went a lot further in wrenching the heart than any memorials.

This is the DVD to get if you love Pantera, or if you're wondering what all the fuss was about.

[ed note: This is a collection of 3 Pantera home video releases -- WATCH IT GO, COWBOYS FROM HELL, and VULGAR VIDEOS that spans over four hours] 

Purchase This DVD Online


We ran these tributes a few days after the senseless murder of Dimebag. We felt that it was an appropriate way to end this special week by reprinting them.

What follows are tributes to Dimebag Darrell from antiMUSIC staff and his fellow musicians. We will add more tributes as they come in. And please use the Fan Speak section to post your own tributes.   We start off with tributes from antiMUSIC's DeadSun, Dr Fever, Zane Ewton, and antiGUY, followed by tributes from Ozzy, Scott and Charlie from Anthrax, Dave Mustaine, Lars Ulrich and Hank Williams III. 

(added tributes from antiMUSIC's Travis Becker, Zakk Wylde, Tony Iommi, Lemmy, Paul Stanley and Dime's brother Vinnie Paul, 

Thank You, Dimebag Darrell. Thank You So Much.
... by DeadSun

Many people believe that Rock and Roll will never die, and with good reason. Rock and Roll, as a musical genre, is well into its fifth decade, and no significant indicators exist that Rock and her offspring are losing any potency whatsoever. 

If as much can be said of Rock and Roll, the same can be said of Rock and Roll’s rowdiest, most rambunctious child--- heavy metal. 

Heavy metal will never fade and go away. It cannot be stopped.

… yet this past Wednesday, heavy metal lost one of its favorite sons.

On December 8th, 2004--- shortly after 10:00 pm--- Darrell Lance Abbott was one of five who were murdered in cold bold, at a Damageplan show in Columbus, Ohio. Heavy metal, its musicians, and its fans, lost one of its most dedicated peers on that night, and lost him as he was on stage, engaged in the righteous act of showing a crowd of people a fun night out. When news of the incident reached me via radio broadcast, I sat there numbed, blank, and with a jaw dropped like a fish out of water. 

As a “twenty-something”, who’s high school years occurred between 1990-1994, I rationalize the death of Dimebag Darrell as if part of my own past has been fired upon. Pantera’s music--- particularly “Cowboys From Hell”, “Vulgar Display of Power”, and “Far Beyond Driven”--- furnishes me with so many fond memories; the people, the parties, the hell-riding. It lives in my mind--- engrained--- as one of the many soundtracks of my chaotic but certainly enjoyable teen years.

 For so many of us who were in our teens at the time, the music of Pantera helped to keep the flame of metal roaring throughout the nineties, at least among a broad audience, as grunge moved in as the “hard rock of choice” among younger Rock fans. To the extent that it did, it was rather like what Metallica did for thirty-somethings in the eighties, as hair metal rose to curry favor with mainstream hard Rock fans and record execs alike. Pantera’s music was hard, driven, and rife with that unmistakably furious energy that metalheads celebrate--- and at the forefront of that sonic blitzkrieg was the hard-charging guitar fire that Dimebag laid down for the group. 

I’m not here to tell you that you have to like Pantera. I’m not here to argue that metal was lost without them, which it certainly wasn’t. I AM here to tell you that Dimebag and company made enjoyable, crushingly heavy music that reached out to millions. For a percentage of those millions, Pantera served as the musical catalyst upon which many were set upon the path of heavy metal. From my observation post, Pantera helped to draw people into the ranks of heavy metal, and as a result discovered metal acts which they otherwise might have been ignorant of. 

In the grand scheme of things, that’s an important contribution to make to a sound and a style that so many of us love--- and nobody can take that away from Dimebag Darrell--- not with all the bullets in the world. 


I know that so many of us want to pay our respects, albeit in our own small way. I guess this is my way of paying mine. 

Thank you so much, Darrell Lance Abbott. 

Thank you for picking up the guitar. 

Thank you for the years of contribution. 

Thank you for your dedication to the music we love.

… I am not alone.

God speed, Darrell Lance Abbott (1966-2004). 


The Last Guitar Hero
By Zane Ewton

Music is one of the greatest things that we have on earth.  Every person that is able to play an instrument or write a song should be praised for sharing their talents with the rest of us.

Dimebag Darrell was one of those people that was able to share his immense musical talents with the world.  He was one of the last guitar heroes and a true pioneer in heavy metal.

It is too easy to take people for granted until they are gone.  It is especially difficult when they are taken far too soon.  Most of us didn’t have the opportunity to know Dimebag but through his music we are able to know him and know more about ourselves.

Pantera was the metal band of the 1990’s.  They were also the antithesis of everything else that was happening at that time.  Pantera music is a battle cry, a fist in the air and a steel-toed boot firmly standing its ground.

By not bowing to anything or anybody, Pantera was able to create something entirely unique and devastatingly good.  At the core of this monster was Dimebag and his brother Vinnie Paul.  At the end of Pantera, the two brothers were still together and starting over with a brand new band.  Damageplan had all the potential to be an incredible band.

Like so many other musicians taken from us too soon, we have to wonder what they would have done in the future.  Dimebag was an incredible guitar player and a great songwriter.  He has played some of the most crushing riffs and blistering solos to be put on tape. 

Thankfully we will always have those albums.  For someone who grew up on Pantera, the band is something I will listen to for the rest of my life.  I’ll share with my children and friends the awesome power of a band and particularly a guitar player who has made so many people want to pick up a guitar and start a band.  I am certain he will have that same affect on them.

By Dr Fever 

December 8th, around 11pm or so, I'm sitting in The Lab at my computer. I'd just crawled in from work. One day closer to the end of what had been a rather amazing week. A week in which Clutch and High On Fire kicked my ass, a show in which I rocked out for 5 hours from no more than 3 feet from the front of the stage...enjoying what is truly the love of my life: music. So, I'm sitting there lurking around various spots on the internet that I tend to frequent, then I made that fateful "refresh" click on my browser on the 
Instrife message board. And there it was, a thread simply entitled: "Holy s***!"

Instantly I clicked it, expecting some crazy story about 40 ounces of cheap beer and narrow escapes from gangland battles from the thread starter (a kid I know who lives in the Columbus area)…what greeted me damn near knocked me out of my chair;

"Dimebag Darrell shot dead while on stage in Columbus tonight"

What followed? Well, go back and re-read the title of this. 

Shocked isn't a strong enough word to describe how I felt (and still feel.) Dimebag Darrell, arguably one of the greatest guitar players of all time and a driving force behind one of the best "heavy" bands of all time (Pantera, of course) was dead at the hands of a crazed lunatic.

As the hours drew out, I found myself all over the net..trying to get info and insight, and having conversations on AIM that all followed the same pattern:

"Dude! You hear about Dime?"

"Yeah, that sh*t's crazy!"

And so forth and so on...

After awhile, I just found myself numb...I really couldn't believe everything that I was reading. Or, maybe, I just didn't want to believe it. Who knows. But, the point remained; Dimebag Darrell was dead. Dimebag Darrell, a man I met a few years ago on the 'Reinventing The Steel' tour. A man who lit up a room the nanosecond he walked into it. A man who seemed to draw a crowd and always could draw a laugh from even the most hardened of metal fan.

This was April 1994 all over again for me. Sure, Kurt Cobain and Dimebag Darrell were as far apart on the musical spectrum as two people could be...but, personally, the comparison between the two for me is now etched in stone forever.

Who knows, maybe I'm being overly dramatic for a man that I only met because I was a journalist lucky enough to be backstage at a post-concert afterparty...maybe I'm placing on to high a pedestal a "famous" person.. but, ya know, I don't really look at it like that. I save those petty arguments for the naysayers who are all over the 'net right now downplaying this with things like "people get shot everyday, this isn't tragic." To those people I say; F**k you. Go back to your nu-new wave eletrco pop crap and your sh*tty generic metalcore bands. Go back to your straightedge anthems and your bullsh*t. I don't wanna hear it.

"Dimebag" Darrell Lance Abbott was a human being. And a damn fine musician. And he died, tragically, doing what he loved. And, as a music lover, someone in the 'Family' has died. So save me your disconnected, apathetic bullsh*t.

So long, Dime. This glass of Blacktooth Grin is for you, brother. Thanks for the memories and the music. And here's hoping we meet again on the other side. Here's hoping we can share another class of the Grin and laugh again. If only for a few minutes.

Dime was one of a kind
By antiGUY

Dimebag wasn't just a metal guitarist, he personified metal. As the tributes roll in from his friends and fellow metalhead musicians that becomes even more clear.  Dimebag was one of a kind as a musician and as a person. He lived metal, he didn't take crap from anybody and he helped keep metal really alive in the 90s. His friends will remember him as righteous guy that was always up for a party, and his fans will remember him for his no-holds-bared riffs and performances. 

When someone like this dies, we always hear the outpouring a tributes, but I'm pretty sure that Dime knew that people loved him for who he was. 

I still can't believe this has happened. It just seems so tragic and pointless. Dime went to that venue to do his thing, to play the metal he loved and some nut job jumped up on stage and ended his life.  He gave his life doing something he believed in. He left us with a wealth of music and our memories.  I can write clichés until next year here but I just want to say that Dime was metal and we will never forget him and we will never stop listening to his music. 

I don't know what else to say.  We will miss you Dime. 


Hammer of the Gods
By Travis Becker 

When Led Zeppelin referred to “the Hammer of the Gods” they may not have literally meant that Rock and Roll was the Hammer and that they were the Gods.  Clearly, however, it is and they are.  Not just them.  Sabbath, Priest, Metallica, the list goes on and on of bands who have ascended the ranks of the Rock Gods.  On Wednesday night, we lost one of the Gods.  Not to his own excess as is so often the case, and not in a freak accident of the mechanical chariots that have claimed so many.  It certainly wasn’t a self-righteous act of suicide or recklessness, at least not on his part. 

Dimebag Darrell Abbott was taken from this world and from his family, and from his loyal followers, his fans, and us by an act of sheer madness and destruction.  This was an act that takes the very core of senseless violence and stomach-turning human tragedy to a New Level.

It’s hard for me to even comprehend the humanity in this tragedy.  Dimebag wasn’t someone I knew personally, although like many people, I refer to him by his nickname almost exclusively and sometimes by the even more friendly, “Dime.”  It’s the connection the fans feel with musicians that lets us do that.  We feel like we know them and we really only know their music and what they’re willing to reveal to us though it.  So, I’m going to focus on something a little different.  Suffice it to say that Pantera was and is one of my favorite bands and Dimebag was a guitar player that I always counted on to impress me, to shake my notion of what Heavy Metal was supposed to be.  Needless to say, I’ll miss his contribution to the bunch of music that makes me feel alive and makes me feel like taking the world by the throat and serving it notice. 

Don’t’ rest in peace, Dime, rest in the throes of metal ecstasy that you helped create for yourself and the rest of us.  The Dirty South misses you already. That being said, the impact of his death will be felt in many more ways than we may be willing to think about at the moment.  This is the second serious tragedy to occur at a rock show, at a small club in the last year or so, the other obviously being the Great White show in Rhode Island. 

I have been to literally hundreds of shows at clubs just like both of the ones involved in these incidents and respectably would have been able to carry a gun into one and probably would have been too drunk to escape from the other.  Why are these things happening and what is it going to mean the next time you or I want to attend a heavy metal show at the hole in the wall club in the crappy part of your respective city?  Personally I enjoy not being frisked going into every show I attend, or having to walk through a metal detector.  Frankly, I even dig the cheesy pyro that goes on at some of them (less lately).  I certainly don’t mean to editorialize at the expense of the life of one of heavy metal’s most beloved axe-wielders, one of our brothers, but something has to stop this kind of thing from ever getting to this point.

A little piece of our collective vitality is tied to things like music and art.  When someone like Dimebag is killed in such a horrific manner as this it takes a little of that vitality away from all of us.  At that point it’s not just for fun anymore.  Heavy Metal and Rock and Roll are not real life.  These musicians are doing us a service by providing perspective on our lives and just giving us something to get off on.  They’re not bigger than life, though, as is painfully apparent now. Physically these Gods are not immortal.  So, cry, drink a beer for Dime, and get off any way you want, but mostly, listen the music that he gave us.  Do that, and he’s got all the immortality he needs.

Fellow Rockers and Friends

Ozzy Osbourne

Dimebag was a dear friend of mine. I’m absolutely beside myself with grief. I can’t for the life of me understand why someone would do this. 

Pantera toured with me many many times. I’ll always remember the signed guitar that he gave me at my 50th birthday party.

My heart goes out to Dime’s family, his fans and the other innocent victims who were killed in this senseless tragedy. It’s just terribly sad.
 - Ozzy


Dave Mustaine (Megadeth)

There is nothing unique or clever to this post, and what I want to say has no doubt already been said throughout the metal community, by countless others whom were more closer to Darrell than me by now. 

However, knowing he was murdered tonight, I wish to thank and remember Darrell for his amazing life and the gift that he shared with me and so many other fortunates. 

I pray for Darrell's family and friends; specifically for their healing, their peace, and their understanding of this tragedy in this time of need. 

I send my deepest heartfelt condolences to the Abbott family, to Darrell's friends, and to the fantastic PANTERA and DAMAGEPLAN fans around the world. 

We must never forget his life, and his gifts, his genius, his terrific personallity, and the legacy he left behind to remember him by. 

Darrell, I will see you in heaven and I, like so many more, love you brother. 

You will be missed.


Lars Ulrich (Metallica) 

This is unbelievable. To sit here and talk about Darrell in the past tense seems so wrong, so unfair, so unjust, I don't even know what to say. My heart goes out to Vinnie, to their families, to the other band members, and to the families and friends of the other people that were killed or injured, in this f***ing senseless act of selfishness and stupidity.

… There's a tendency in these f***ed up moments to use the word 'I' a lot and focus on one's own feelings of pity and shock... so instead let it just be known that thru these eyes Darrell was incredibly warm, open, fun, nutty, forthcoming, talented, embracing, unpretentious, accommodating and he always had a very attractive innocence about him that obviously made him never threatening and always welcoming. 

"Darrell and his brother were the cornerstone of musical adventures that were always groundbreaking, pushing boundaries, challenging to themselves and to their fans, respected by their peers and always true musicians' musicians, and today the rock world is worse off because of this untimely and senseless waste.


Scott Ian (Anthrax)

I am devastated as I'm sure we all are. 
All I can convey at this moment are my condolences to Rita and Vinnie and the whole family. 
My heart is with you.


PS - I'm stunned. I don't have words for this. My logical brain keeps trying to make sense of it. It's just horrible. Humanity is an oxymoron.


Charlie Benante (Anthrax) 

Dimebag brought the life out of everyone he met, why would anyone take his???? 

My phone has been ringing off the hook, everyone asking if it was true? 

I didn't want to accept the reality, HOW COULD DARRELL BE GONE? 

I just saw him! and just listened to the message he left me today. 

I loved him, he was a true Friend. The phone calls in the middle of the night , talking about this and that. Playing KINGS X or KISS  licks over the phone. I remember this one time we were both going through these anxiety attacks. I never had them, nor did he. We were talking about how we stopped them. I quit drinking alcohol and coffee and he said that he started drinking MORE ALCOHOL! HAHAHA, that was him. I had some great times with him, he always put you in a good mood, DAMMIT! What the f*** is wrong with people?? How the f*** does someone get into a club with a loaded gun, HOW?? WHY?? 

I thought for a minute  about this - John Lennon was murdered the same way on the same DAY, some strange coincidence?    (sorry, I'm delirious right now) 

This guy didn't wait till after the show , he did it on stage. How f***ing horrific. All those people freaking out, watching this happen. This will change things for the music world. It won't be the same vibe at shows... this is scary.

Dime was special, those who knew him would attest to that.... 

My heart goes out to Vinnie and Rita as well as the others who were injured. 

Go play your PANTERA CDs or your Damage Plan CD. 

Remember him for his music and his guitar playing, he was the best!

I love you Bro', I'll miss your face.
Give him a double.

cryin' and sobbin' - CB


Hank Williams III (Superjoint Ritual) 

"It just ain't f***in right... Alcohol should have killed Dime, not a f***in piece of s*** worthless f*** with a gun trying to recreate the John Lennon's killing... This happened on the same day, if you didnt know... Dime will never die EVER!!! His style of guitar playing took metal to a whole new chapter in metal history.

"For those of us that were lucky enough to be around Dime as a person... or see him jam in no matter what band it was, you know he liked to have a good time... In his honor, crank up his f***in music and get motherf***in wasted on whiskey!!!!!!!

"And no matter what was said with all the s*** talking between SUPERJOINT RITUAL and DAMAGEPLAN, that's all it was, nothing but talk!! If we had ever been in the same room together as both bands, it would have been cool… Kinda like seeing 'ole family....


Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath) 

I was absolutely shocked by the news. Dimebag was such a really nice genuine bloke and a great player. He was always very respectful towards me and it was lovely to have him on tour with us. He will be sadly missed.


Paul Stanley (KISS) 

I'm stunned. The taking of Dimebag Darrell's life in this horrific murder is a senseless tragedy for his fans and unfathomable loss for his family. I send my deepest condolences to Vinnie and the rest of his family. My thoughts are also with the families of all the other victims of this heinous act.


Lemmy (Motorhead) 

To Vinnie & all concerned: Man, I am so f***in sorry. You know I loved Dimebag and I'm about as sorry as you can get. Glad you're OK though. If there's anything you need help with, you got my number somewhere, OK.

Thinking of you.


Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society)

"He was beyond beautiful. When he'd walk in the room, he'd light it up. f*** the guitar playing — he's right up there with Eddie and Randy and Hendrix. All he wanted to do was make everyone happy. He was the ray of sunshine. Dime will never die ever — he's in my veins. He's sitting at God's tavern, having a cold one with Randy Rhoads and Hendrix. Dime was an original."


Vinnie Paul (Damageplan, Pantera - Dime's brother) 

With all his greatness and accomplishments on the guitar, Dime will be missed more for his giving personality, charisma, caring for others, love and most of all his HEART!! Twice as big as the state of TEXAS!!!!!!!!!!!! Dime gave it all every day to each and every one of us and our lives have forever been hollowed without him...Thanks to all of you for reaching out to us in this time of our immeasurable loss. REST IN PEACE BROTHER DIME!!!!!!"


Additional tributes has assembled many tributes from the metal community. Click here to read them.

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