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It has been almost twelve years since the senselss shooting in a venue in Columbus, Ohio which claimed the lives of four people, one of whom was former Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell. Having formed the band in Texas over a twenty years earlier, Pantera had first struggled to find their niche through a succession of hair metal albums before recruiting vocalist Phil Anselmo and reinventing themselves in the 1990s with some of the decades most powerful and influential songs of the decade. Arguably the most revered aspect of their sound, however, was Darrell’s unique guitar playing, a talent he would carry over to his next project, Damageplan, which he would form with brother and fellow Pantera alumni Vinnie Paul. Among Darrell’s most iconic riffs was Walk, Pantera‘s 1992 breakthrough hit that would become a regular staple of MTV for years to come, until the channel replaced alternative music with reality TV.
The passing of Dimebag, born Darrell Abbott, had a significant impact on the metal scene, with both contemporaries and fans paying tribute to the artist who was murdered by a twenty-five-year-old fantastic that the media compared to the killing of John Lennon. ‘The shooter, Nathan Gale, was killed by a Columbus police officer minutes after the violence erupted,’ explained a report on the incident published by Rolling Stone. ‘A stocky former Marine, Gale was reportedly upset that Pantera had broken up – last year – and may have blamed Abbott for the band’s acrimonious split.’ Despite the senseless tragedy Darrell, who would have turned fifty in August, lives on in the hearts of fans through his music, which included several Platinum-selling albums and considerable critical acclaim from the media.In a new interview with Loudwire Vinnie Paul, currently a member of Hellyeah, discussed what made his brother a truly unique artist. ‘One of the things people don’t know about Dime, he had a guitar in his bathroom,’ he confessed. ‘I went in his bathroom one time, I sat down and he had a guitar and a little tape player. ‘What’s that doing in here?’ I said, ‘Dime, what’s the deal with the guitar in the bathroom?’ He said, ‘Man, that’s where I write all my riffs. That’s why my riffs are the shit!’ Sitting right there on the toilet, man. He told me that.’
Paul also confirms that there is a wealth of previously unreleased material hidden away that Darrell had recorded. ‘He’d have a bad experience at Taco Bell and he’d go write a song about it. And all this stuff is recorded and in the vault and I think people would really enjoy hearing it. It’s fun stuff, y’know, it’s him singing about life, things that he went through. And nobody really knows him as a singer but he was a pretty good singer too. I would like to put that stuff out for people to hear at some point.’